Happy New Year from the National Portrait Gallery & Jan. Programs
Happy New Year from Our Director!
This past year has been a challenge for many of us, and we are grateful for your support during this difficult time. Since last March, the Portrait Gallery has produced more than 160 public programs online. These programs were complemented by four new exhibitions at the museum – which we look forward to sharing with you again when the time is right – and seven online exhibitions through Google Arts & Culture. Our new website, First Ladies of the United States, which complements the exhibition “Every Eye Is Upon Me: First Ladies of the United States,” was ranked by Smithsonian Magazine as one of the top 10 online exhibitions of 2020. As we begin a new year, we are proud to continue serving our community through robust online programming. New programs for 2021 include In Dialogue, a series where we partner with Smithsonian colleagues to analyze social justice issues through portraiture and material culture, and Wind Down Wednesdays, a relaxing happy hour. The new year also brings the return of past favorites: remote programs presented by PORTAL, the museum’s Scholarly Center; Art AfterWords, our quarterly book club collaboration with the DC Public Library; and the third season of PORTRAITS, our hit podcast. Whatever your interests, we hope you will join us in 2021!
National Portrait Gallery
The Tommie L. Pegues and Donald A. Capoccia Conversation Series in LGBTQ+ Portraiture
Antonius-Tín Bui and David Antonio Cruz in Conversation with Taína Caragol
Tuesday, Jan. 12
Online via Zoom
Join National Portrait Gallery curator TaínaCaragol for a conversation with Antonius-Tín Bui and David Antonio Cruz about portraiture as a platform to represent and honor LGBTQ+ communities of color. Both artists use portraiture and performance to explore the connections between queerness, their personal diasporic stories, and the communities that ground them. Bui and Cruz were finalists of the 2019 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition, and their work is now on view in the traveling exhibition “The Outwin: American Portraiture Today” at the D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts of the Springfield Museums, Massachusetts.
The competition and exhibition are made possible through generous support from the Virginia Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition Endowment. This conversation is a part of the Tommie L. Pegues and Donald A. Capoccia Conversation Series in LGBTQ+ Portraiture, which is hosted by PORTAL, the Portrait Gallery’s Scholarly Center.
n Dialogue: Smithsonian Objects and Social Justice
Thursday, Jan. 14
Online via Zoom
Heighten your civic awareness through conversations about art, history, and material culture. Each month, educators from the National Portrait Gallery will partner with colleagues from across the Smithsonian to discuss how historical objects from their respective collections speak to today’s social justice issues. The topic for January is: How can we build a civically engaged society? Together with our co-hosts from the National Museum of American History, we will explore this key question in relation to an 1898 voting machine and a portrait of civil rights activist Robert P. Moses.
Wind Down Wednesday: Hygge and Home
Wednesday, Jan. 27
Online via Instagram Live @smithsoniannpg
Wind down in creative and mindful ways with the Portrait Gallery's new free program on Instagram Live. In partnership with independent mixologists, crafters, artists, and other experts, Wind Down Wednesday offers an optimistic approach to the middle of the week.
This month’s event is dedicated to hygge and the serene portrait of author Marilynne Robinson from the exhibition “Her Story: A Century of Women Writers.” First, Megan Segarra of Meganda Kitchen will demonstrate her recipe for a soothing cocktail (or mocktail) of spiked infused tea. Sip away while we discuss Robinson's portrait and read excerpts from her beloved books. Then an aromatherapy expert will explain how candles and scents can enhance mood and relaxation.
Weekly Online Programs
The National Portrait Gallery is proud to host some of its many public programs online. These digital offerings range from story times for young children to art-making workshops for all ages. Tune in to the museum's social media channels to experience them firsthand.
Visit our website's Visit at Home page for more in-depth program descriptions.
Joan Jonas: The Inner Worlds of Video
Tuesday, Feb. 9
Online via Zoom
For more than half a century, Joan Jonas has created some of contemporary art’s most influential videos, performances, and installations. Join us for a virtual screening of Jonas’s iconic videos from the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum's respective collections. Afterward, a post-screening discussion with Jonas and curators Charlotte Ickes and Saisha Grayson will reveal how the artist explores interiority through the medium of video. Viewfinder: Women’s Film and Video from the Smithsonian is a monthly virtual screening and conversation series sponsored by the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative, “Because of Her Story.”
Art AfterWords: A Book Discussion
Tuesday, Feb. 9
Online via Zoom
The National Portrait Gallery and the DC Public Library invite you to a conversation about representation, kinship, and storytelling. Join us as we explore Bernard Gotfryd’s portrait of Alice Walker and discuss the related book “Training School for Negro Girls” by Camille Acker. DCPL cardholders can access the book online. For questions, or to request accommodations such as an ASL interpreter or captioning, please email email@example.com.
We want to meet you where you are...online! Enjoy online adaptations of the National Portrait Gallery's exhibitions as well as collection highlights, including "Visualizing Democracy" and "Where There Is a Woman There Is Magic," through our collaboration with Google Arts & Culture.
Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition 2022
Calling all artists 18 and over! Ready for #Outwin2022? You have until January 29 to submit a portrait to our sixth triennial Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition. The first-prize winner will receive $25,000 and a commission to portray a remarkable living American for our collection. For more details, visit portraitcompetition.si.edu.
Holiday Special: Music's Role
Missed it during the holiday shuffle? You can still tune in to this special pop-up episode of PORTRAITS.
Operatic soprano Renée Fleming, who is often called, ‘the people’s diva,’ has performed at key moments in our nation’s history. For this special episode, Fleming spoke with Director Kim Sajet about how music can help us mourn, heal, and celebrate as we send off 2020. Listen to this episode and many others from previous seasons on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, PRX, Radio Public, Spotify, Stitcher, and npg.si.edu.
Audio Descriptions of America's Presidents
Encounter the Portrait Gallery's signature exhibition from a new perspective! Our detailed audio descriptions of select presidential portraits are geared toward those who are blind or have low vision, but anyone can enjoy them! Available on our website and on SmARTify. This free and easy-to-use app allows you to explore more than 1,000 artworks from the Portrait Gallery’s collection.
ASL Exhibition Tours
Check out past ASL tours on the museum's YouTube channel including one of "The Outwin 2019: American Portraiture Today," which is now on tour. Preview an online adaptation on the exhibition's website.
Virtual Teacher Workshops
The National Portrait Gallery is excited to host our professional development workshops online for the 2020–21 academic year. Topics include social justice, how to read portraits, portraiture as writing prompts, and a series of workshops for teachers in specific content areas. Keep checking our website, as we’ll continue to add workshops throughout the year.
National Portrait Gallery Sketch by Brad Grant, 2020. © Brad Grant. Theboysdon’tplaynicewithanyone, portrait of april and june by David Antonio Cruz, oil and latex on wood, 2018. Collection of the artist, courtesy of Monique Meloche Gallery. Robert P. Moses (detail) by Danny Lyon, 1962. © Danny Lyon/Magnum Photos. Marilynne Robinson (detail) by Alec Soth, 2014 (printed 2015). © Alec Soth. Young Portrait Explorers (detail) by Tony Powell, 2019. Writing Hour (detail) by Tony Powell, 2019. Introducing... (detail) by Tony Powell, 2019. Drawn to Figures (detail) by Tony Powell, 2019. Open Studios (detail) by Tony Powell, 2019. Left Side Right Side (still), by Joan Jonas 1972. Single-channel video (black-and-white, sound), 8:50 min. © 2020 Joan Jonas /Artists Rights Society(ARS), New York. Courtesy the artist andGladstoneGallery, New York andBrussels. Alice walker (detail) by Bernard Gotfryd, 1976. © The Bernard Gotfryd Revocable Living Trust. Abraham Lincoln (detail) by Alexander Gardner, 1865. Frederick Hill Meserve Collection. Sheryl Swoopes (detail) by Rick Chapman, 2002. Gift of the artist and ESPN. © 2002 Rick Chapman. Portraits by finalists of the 2019 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition. Courtesy of the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery. National Portrait Gallery's Podcast, 2019.
All images belong to the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, unless otherwise noted.