July Programs | National Portrait Gallery

National Portrait Gallery


National Portrait Gallery

Listen to our Podcast: Season 3 of PORTRAITS Is Now Available!

Check out Episode 8 with Ellen Stofan, a planetary geologist who has spent a lot of time looking up at the stars and thinking about life outside our planet. In this episode, she talks about the portraits of her favorite earth dwellers. In this conversation with Portrait Gallery Director Kim Sajet, Stofan highlights a judge who fought for women's rights and a marine biologist who challenged the way we see ourselves in relation to the natural world. Listen to Season 3 on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, PRX, Radio Public, Spotify, Stitcher, and on our website.


Spotlight Programs

National Portrait Gallery

In Dialogue: Smithsonian Objects and Social Justice
Thursday, July 8, 5 p.m. 
Online via Zoom 
How do community gardens promote social justice and food security? Educators from Smithsonian Gardens and the National Portrait Gallery will explore how these shared spaces positively impact the neighborhoods where they are located. We’ll feature a portrait of chef and author Alice Waters, who founded the Edible Schoolyard Project. It will be paired with a photograph from the Smithsonian Gardens’ Archive of American Gardens depicting the DeWitt Clinton Farm School, which was founded by reformer Frances Griscom Parsons. 

Free—Registration required


National Portrait Gallery

¡Printing the Revolution! In Conversation with E. Carmen Ramos and Claudia Zapata
Tuesday, July 13, 5 p.m.
Online via Zoom

In the 1960s, Chicano activist artists forged a remarkable history of printmaking rooted in cultural expression and social justice movements that remains vital today. The exhibition “¡Printing the Revolution! The Rise and Impact of Chicano Graphics, 1965 to Now” presents, for the first time, historical civil rights-era prints by Chicano artists alongside works by graphic artists active from the 1980s to today. It considers how artists innovatively use graphic arts to build community, engage the public around ongoing social justice concerns and wrestle with shifting notions of the term “Chicano.” 

Free—Registration required


E. Carmen Ramos, acting chief curator & curator of Latinx art at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and newly appointed chief curatorial and conservation officer at the National Gallery of Art, and Claudia Zapata, curatorial assistant at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, will present their exhibition “¡Printing the Revolution!” with a focus on portraiture in Chicano printmaking. Taína Caragol, the Portrait Gallery’s curator of painting and sculpture and Latinx art and history, will moderate the Q & A. This program is sponsored as part of the Greenberg Steinhauser Forum in American Portraiture and is hosted by PORTAL, the Portrait Gallery’s scholarly center.


Coming Soon

National Portrait Gallery

Block by Block: Naming Washington
On view through Jan. 16, 2023

Wherever we may be, whenever we provide an address and find our place on Washington, D.C.’s streets, we spell out and utter street numbers, state names, and in many cases, the names of individuals who dot the city’s landscape. “Block by Block: Naming Washington” introduces us to a selection of the people whom city planners have deemed important enough to have streets and spaces named after them, bringing attention to their stories, and the city’s complex and changing urban fabric. This exhibition is curated by Curator of Photographs Leslie Ureña.


On View

National Portrait Gallery
Visionary: The Cumming
Family Collection (Part II)

On view through Oct. 31, 2021
National Portrait Gallery
Recent Acquisitions
On view through Oct. 23, 2022
National Portrait Gallery
Her Story: A Century of Women Writers
On view through Jan. 23, 2022
National Portrait Gallery
"Warranted to Give Satisfaction":
Daguerreotypes by Jeremiah Gurney

On view through Feb. 6, 2022


Portrait Gallery Spotlight: Tato Laviera

National Portrait Gallery

Growing up in Boston, I always looked forward to the last weekend of August when Carnival would take over Blue Hill Avenue. It was always a visual mélange of elaborate costumes and bright colored flags representing communities across the Caribbean. The joy I experienced watching my Caribbean American friends celebrate their heritage reminds me so much of our photograph of poet, playwright, and community activist Tato Laviera by Máximo Colón from 1975. This black-and-white portrait shows Laviera dancing in the middle of a street parade along with many other unidentified individuals, including a little girl with a bright smile. As the world continues to reopen, I look forward to seeing more moments like this – people coming together to connect, to laugh, and to dance.

Ashleigh Coren
Women's History Content and Interpretation Curator


National Portrait Gallery

One Life: Will Rogers
On view June 25, 2021–Ongoing

This is the National Portrait Gallery’s first exhibition to be presented exclusively on its website. Will Rogers (1879–1935) was a prolific political commentator with a career spanning vaudeville, silent films, “talkies,” radio, and newspaper. Born to a prominent Cherokee family on a ranch in Indian Territory near present-day Oologah, Oklahoma, Rogers could lasso anything. He was also a great intellect, who authored six books, appeared in seventy-one films, wrote 4,000 syndicated newspaper columns, and hosted a popular Sunday evening radio program.


PORTRAITS by the National Portrait Gallery, 2019. Alice Waters (detail) by Dave Woody, 2010. Supported by a grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation and by the Marc Pachter Commissioning Fund as part of the first prize, Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition 2009.  I Stand with Emma by Lalo Alcaraz,2018. Smithsonian American Art Museum; gift of the artist. © 2018, Lalo Alcaraz. Malcolm X by an unidentified photographer, 1967. Al Gore by Chuck Close, 2009. Gift of Ian M. and Annette P. Cumming. © Chuck Close. Louis Armstrong (detail) by Philippe Halsman, 1966 (printed 1998). Gift from the Trustees of the Corcoran Gallery of Art (Gift of Betsy Karel). © Philippe Halsman Archive. Lorraine Hansberry (detail) by David Attie, 1959. © David Attie. Two Girls (detail) by Jeremiah Gurney, quarter-plate daguerreotype with applied color, c. 1852. Collection of Wm. B. Becker. Tato Laviera by Máximo Colón, 1975 (printed in 2015). Acquisition made possible through the Smithsonian Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center. © 2015, Máximo Colón. Will Rogers at the mic of Radio KHJ in Hollywood (detail) by an unidentified photographer, gelatin silver print, c. 1930. Will Rogers Memorial Museum, OHS, Claremore, OK.

All images belong to the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, unless otherwise noted.



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