National Portrait Gallery Reopens to Visitors - Friday, May 14

National Portrait Gallery


National Portrait Gallery

A Message from Our Director

Spring is a time of renewal, and we cannot tell you how excited we are to reopen our doors on Friday, May 14! Staff and visitor safety has been our top priority this past year. During our closure, we’ve enjoyed presenting more than 150 virtual programs, but the portraits have missed you! We are a museum about people, for people, and by people, and our visitors are what make the Portrait Gallery experience complete.

When you visit, you’ll find a diverse range of exhibitions on view. Check out “Every Eye Is Upon Me: First Ladies of the United States” before it closes on May 23 and be inspired by the contemporary portraits of global leaders in “Visionary: The Cumming Family Collection (Part II)." New works are also on display, including a photograph of former President Donald J. Trump in our flagship "America's Presidents" exhibition. Looking ahead, please mark your calendars for the museum’s first solo exhibition dedicated to an Asian American female artist, “Hung Liu: Portraits of Promised Lands,” opening Aug. 27.

In order for you to have an enjoyable experience, please review our safety guidelines before your visit and reserve your free timed-entry passes here.

For our many followers across the country, we will continue to offer virtual programs online and on our social media channels @smithsoniannpg. In addition, we will continue to add new exhibitions and lesson plans to Google Arts & Culture. Whether at the museum or online, there is plenty to take in. From all of us at the National Portrait Gallery, thank you, and we hope to see you soon!

Kim Sajet
National Portrait Gallery



National Portrait Gallery

Visionary: The Cumming Family Collection (Part II)
On view through Oct. 31, 2021

Installed in two parts, “Visionary: The Cumming Family Collection” celebrates a major acquisition of 22 contemporary portraits recently gifted or promised to the Portrait Gallery by Ian and Annette Cumming. Part II debuts with the museum's reopening and will remain on view through Oct. 31. It features portraits by American artists Jack Beal, Chuck Close, and Nelson Shanks and includes likenesses of prominent leaders, such as Al Gore, President Barack Obama, and EO Wilson. This exhibition is curated by Portrait Gallery Chief Curator Emerita Brandon Brame Fortune.


Last Chance

National Portrait Gallery

Every Eye Is Upon Me: First Ladies of the United States
On view through May 23, 2021

Don't miss your last chance to take in “Every Eye Is Upon Me: First Ladies of the United States," the first exhibition of its kind to explore the prominent position of first lady through portraiture. Organized in collaboration with the White House and the National First Ladies’ Library, this major exhibition covers nearly 250 years, from Martha Washington to Melania Trump, and features more than 60 portraits alongside related ephemera and iconic dresses. Visitors can also explore an online adaptation of this exhibition at and see more portraits of first ladies on the museum's Google Arts & Culture page.


National Portrait GalleryNational Portrait Gallery

The Obama Portraits Tour
June 2021–May 2022

Come say goodbye to the popular portrait of former First Lady Michelle Obama by Amy Sherald before Friday, May 23, when it departs Washington, D.C., for a five-stop national tour, together with Kehinde Wiley’s iconic portrait of President Barack Obama. “The Obama Portraits Tour” will commence in Chicago on June 18 and will continue across the United States through May 30, 2022, before returning to Washington.


Permanent Exhibitions

National Portrait Gallery

America's Presidents

The museum reopens its "America's Presidents" exhibition with a newly acquired photograph of Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States, by Pari Dukovic.

Visitors can explore an online adaptation of this exhibition and additional research tools on the museum’s dedicated "America's Presidents website".


National Portrait Gallery

The Struggle for Justice

Be inspired by contemporary leaders who have fought for civil rights and greater inclusiveness. This exhibition includes our newly acquired painting of John Lewis, civil rights activist and former congressman, as well as other portraits of renowned figures, such as Marian Anderson, George Washington Carver, César Chávez, Albert Einstein, Dolores Huerta, Thurgood Marshall, and Rosa Parks.


National Portrait Gallery

Out of Many: Portraits from 1600 to 1900

Discover portraits of Indigenous Americans, European colonists, clergymen, soldiers, writers, performers, scientists, and others who helped shape the history and culture of the United States from the colonial era through the Revolution to the end of the nineteenth century.


Temporary Exhibitions

National Portrait Gallery
Women of Progress: Early Camera Portraits
On view through June 13, 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
Storied Women of the Civil War Era
On view through Feb. 6, 2022

Visit at Home

National Portrait Gallery

Not ready to come back quite yet? Enjoy several online adaptations of National Portrait Gallery exhibitions and collection highlights, including "The Return to Aztlán" and "Where There Is a Women There Is Magic," through our collaboration with Google Arts & Culture. The National Portrait Gallery continues to offer a robust lineup of online workshops and programs that highlight the power of portraiture. For more on the Portrait Gallery's virtual offerings, explore the museum's "Visit at Home" webpage.


Viewing the 20th Century Americans Gallery (detail) by Albert Ting, 2020. Al Gore by Chuck Close, 2009. Gift of Ian M. and Annette P. Cumming. © Chuck Close. First Ladies of the Unites States, by the National Portrait Gallery, 2021. Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama (detail) by Amy Sherald, 2018. The National Portrait Gallery is grateful to the generous donors who made these commissions possible and proudly recognizes them at Support for the national tour has been generously provided by Bank of America. President Donald J. Trump for Time magazine in 2019 by Pari Dukovic, 2019 (printed 2020). © 2019 Pari Dukovic. John R. Lewis by Danny Lyon, 1962. Gift of the artist and the Jan Kesner Gallery, Los Angeles. © Danny Lyon/Magnum Photos. Pocahontas (detail) by an unidentified artist, after Simon van de Passe, after 1616. Transfer from the National Gallery of Art; gift of the A.W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust, 1942. Mary Ann Brown Patten (detail) by an unidentified photographer, c. 1857. Gift of Dorthy Knouse Koepke. 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. Mrs. JH Allen (detail) by Mathew Brady Studio, c. 1861. Henrietta Lacks (HeLa): The Mother of Modern Medicine (detail) by Kadir Nelson, 2017. Collection of the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery and National Museum of African American History & Culture; gift from Kadir Nelson and the JKBN Group, LLC. © 2017 Kadir Nelson. Writing Hour (detail) by Tony Powell, 2019. Dolores Huerta (detail)Barbara Carrasco.Acquisition made possible through the Smithsonian Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center. © 1999 Barbara Carrasco.

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



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