Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture

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Smithsonian
Donald W. Reynolds Center for
American Art and Portraiture
National Portrait Gallery
Media only: Bethany Bentley
Julia Hahn
(202) 633-8293
(202) 633-8295
New
s
Nov. 13, 2008
Public only: (202) 633-1000
National Portrait Gallery
December Calendar of Events, Programs and Exhibitions
All events are held at the Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture, located at
Eighth and F streets, N.W., Washington, D.C., and are free unless otherwise noted. For public
information, call (202) 633-1000 or visit npg.si.edu. The National Portrait Gallery is open every day
from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
National Portrait Gallery Walk-in Tours
Walk-in tours of the National Portrait Gallery begin in the F Street lobby; reservations are not
required.
Highlights of the National Portrait Gallery tours
Weekdays, 11:45 a.m. and 2:15 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays, 11:45 a.m. and 3:15 p.m.
Docent’s Choice tours
Weekdays, 1 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays, 1:30 p.m.; Spanish tour on Dec. 6, 1:30 p.m.
Behind the Scenes
An Introduction to the Lunder Conservation Center
Wednesdays, 3 p.m.
At the Lunder Conservation Center, learn how museum conservators use science, art history and
skilled hands to preserve objects in the National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art
Museum collections. Group size is limited; please register at the Luce Foundation Center
information desk before 3 p.m. on the day of the program.
SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION MRC 973 PO
Box 37012 Washington DC 20013-7012 Telephone 202.633.8293 Fax 202.633.8290
National Portrait Gallery Calendar of Events December 2008
Face-to-Face Portrait Talks
Thursdays, 6 to 6:30 p.m.
F Street Lobby
Each week, a staff member of the National Portrait Gallery or a special guest speaker brings visitors
face-to-face with a portrait by offering an insight into one person. Visitors meet the presenter in the
F Street lobby and then walk to the appropriate gallery. In the December Face-to-Face talks, learn
about “Men of the Moment at NPG.”
Dec. 4
Researcher Warren Perry speaks about Franklin D. Roosevelt on the eve of the 75th
anniversary of prohibition’s repeal
Dec. 11
Historian David Ward speaks about the portrait of Abraham Lincoln by Alexander
Hesler
Dec. 18
Assistant curator of prints and drawings Anne Goodyear speaks about the portrait of
president-elect Barack Obama by Martin Schoeller
Cultures in Motion
“Brando Himself”
Monday, Dec. 1, 7 p.m.
Marlon Brando comes to life in “Brando Himself,” a part of the Portrait Gallery’s Cultures in
Motion series. A compilation of Brando’s own quotations, “Brando Himself” is presented in
conjunction with the exhibition “Ballyhoo! Posters as Portraiture” and creates an intimate portrayal
of the iconic star. “Brando Himself” reveals one of the most complex figures of American film
history, and features actor Edward Gero as Brando and the Portrait Gallery’s Jewell Robinson as his
interviewer. This program is located in the Nan Tucker McEvoy Auditorium. The performance is
free, but seating is limited. For reservations, please call (202) 633-8520 or e-mail
[email protected]
Cultures in Motion
“Voilà Julia”
Monday, Dec. 15, 7 p.m.
In conjunction with the exhibition “Women of Our Time: Twentieth-Century Photographs,” the
Cultures in Motion series presents “Voilà Julia,” a performance highlighting the life of American
cooking icon Julia Child. Actress Nancy Robinette will portray the master chef in her kitchen as
she cooks up the story of her life. Bon appétit! This program is located in the Nan Tucker McEvoy
Auditorium. The performance is free, but seating is limited. For reservations, please call (202) 6338520 or e-mail [email protected]
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SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION MRC 973 PO
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National Portrait Gallery Calendar of Events December 2008
Facing History: Be the Artist
Youth Program
Saturday, Dec. 20, noon–2 p.m.
This series is designed so that youth can better understand the work of women artists whose
portraits are featured in the exhibition “Women of Our Time: Twentieth-Century Portraits.”
Registered participants will take a guided tour of the exhibition and then create their own pieces
based on ideas from the work of American folk artist Grandma Moses. This program is
recommended for youth ages 10 to 14, accompanied by an adult. Space is limited; please call (202)
633-8501 to register.
This series will continue on Saturday, Jan. 17, 2009, featuring the sculptor Marisol, known for her
unique style in the 1960s. This program will begin in the National Portrait Gallery education center,
first floor, room E151.
Facing History: Be the Artist
Family Program
Saturday, Dec. 20, 3–5 p.m.
Children and their families are invited to participate in a series of art classes in order to better
understand the work of women artists whose portraits are featured in the current exhibition
“Women of Our Time: Twentieth-Century Portraits.” The first class, will take a guided tour of the
exhibition and then create artwork based on the main ideas from the work of American folk artist
Grandma Moses. This program is recommended for families with children ages 5 to 10. Children
must be accompanied by an adult. Space is limited; please call (202) 633-8501 to register.
This series will occur again on Saturday, Jan. 17, 2009, featuring the work of sculptor Marisol,
known for her unique style in the 1960s. This program will begin in the National Portrait Gallery
education center, first floor, room E151.
Current Temporary Exhibitions
Four Indian Kings (special installation)
Through Jan. 25, 2009
The year 2008 marks the 225th anniversary of the Treaty of Paris, which ended the American
Revolution. To commemorate this event, the National Portrait Gallery is showing the earliest
surviving full-length oil portraits of North American Native people painted from life. In 1710, four
men were chosen to represent the Iroquoian Confederacy of the Mohawk River Valley before
Queen Anne to highlight the plight of the colonies in the English military offensive against the
French. The men were presented to the royal court as kings. John Verelst was commissioned to
paint a portrait of each of the visitors, and he did so with the decorum deemed appropriate for
royalty and heads of state. Lent by the Portrait Gallery of Canada, a program of Library and
Archives of Canada.
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SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION MRC 973 PO
Box 37012 Washington DC 20013-7012 Telephone 202.633.8293 Fax 202.633.8290
National Portrait Gallery Calendar of Events December 2008
Women of Our Time: Twentieth-Century Photographs
Through Feb. 1, 2009
In “Women of Our Time: Twentieth-Century Photographs” the National Portrait Gallery celebrates
91 women who have challenged and changed America. Through these revealing works, the Portrait
Gallery highlights women who have reached the summit of achievement in politics, business, the
arts, sports and science. Many of the photographs capture moments that symbolize the person’s
contribution to American history and culture: Margaret Wise Brown—the celebrated children’s
author—is pictured while writing with a quill pen; Amelia Earhart perches in the unfinished
fuselage of the Lockheed Electra that was being built for her final flight; Helen Keller reads a book
written in braille; Gertrude Stein poses while Jo Davidson creates a Buddha-like sculpture of her;
Marilyn Monroe appears on stage entertaining American troops in Korea; Billie Holiday is captured
in mid-song by Roy DeCarava; Althea Gibson is surrounded by young fans at the height of her
tennis career in 1957; Virginia Apgar holds an infant—the Apgar Score that she developed was the
first standardized method for assessing a newborn’s health; and a more recent Time magazine
photograph of Susan Faludi and Gloria Steinem represents younger and older generations of the
feminist cause. Two companion publications are available: a larger, coffee-table book (Merrell,
2002) and a condensed book (Merrell, 2007) by exhibition curator Fred Voss, former historian at
the National Portrait Gallery.
Ballyhoo! Posters as Portraiture
Through Feb. 8, 2009
Featuring sixty-one pieces ranging in date from the late 19th century to the present, this exhibition
presents subjects as diverse as General John J. Pershing, “Buffalo Bill” Cody, Joe Louis, Judy
Garland, aviator Jimmy Doolittle and labor leader Lane Kirkland. Dramatic, colorful and often
enormous, these likenesses hardly seem subtle. But what a poster communicates about an individual
is usually secondary to its principal message—selling war bonds, announcing the arrival of the
circus, advertising a product or publicizing a concert or film. Posters invariably project the public
image, enhancing, promoting, exploiting or upgrading the information we subconsciously absorb
about celebrities. Wendy Wick Reaves, curator of prints and drawings, is the curator of this
exhibition. “Ballyhoo!” is accompanied by a 160-page, full-color catalog of the same title, which is
available in the museum bookstore.
Tokens of Affection and Regard: Photographic Jewelry and Its Makers
Through June 21, 2009
Photographic jewelry flourished throughout the period from 1840 to 1875 and beyond. This
poignant exhibition, drawn primarily from the collection of Larry J. West, features rare and
exquisite jewelry containing portraits in the 19th century’s four main photographic processes—
daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, tintypes and paper prints. Produced, exchanged and treasured as
“tokens of affection and regard,” these relics of loving attachments speak to the deepest of human
sentiments. They are complemented in the exhibition by portraits (a gift from Mr. West) of some of
the pioneering American photographers who created and marketed photographic jewelry, including
Mathew Brady, Jeremiah Gurney, Albert Sands Southworth and Josiah Johnson Hawes. Ann
Shumard, curator of photographs, is the exhibition curator.
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SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION MRC 973 PO
Box 37012 Washington DC 20013-7012 Telephone 202.633.8293 Fax 202.633.8290
National Portrait Gallery Calendar of Events December 2008
One Life: The Mask of Lincoln
Through July 5, 2009
No American has had more written or said about him than Abraham Lincoln. To both his
contemporaries and posterity, Lincoln has been an endless subject of mystery and fascination. “One
Life: The Mask of Lincoln” will examine how Lincoln used the new art of photography to convey
his image to Americans, letting them see in him what they most desired. The National Portrait
Gallery commemorates the bicentennial of Lincoln’s birth with this “One Life” exhibition that
draws on its extensive collection of Lincoln portraits. The exhibition provides many faces of
Lincoln for the public to ponder. As one of the highlights, the Portrait Gallery’s original “crackedplate” portrait of Lincoln by Alexander Gardner will make a rare appearance. (Typically, a
facsimile of the photograph is on view.) David Ward, historian, is the exhibition curator.
Portraiture Now: Feature Photography
Through Sept. 27, 2009
“Portraiture Now: Feature Photography” focuses on six photographers who, by working on
assignment for publications such as the New Yorker, Esquire and the New York Times Magazine,
each bring their distinctive perspective on contemporary portraiture to a broad audience. Critically
acclaimed for their independent fine-art work, these photographers—Katy Grannan, Jocelyn Lee,
Ryan McGinley, Steve Pyke, Martin Schoeller and Alec Soth—have also pursued a variety of
editorial projects, taking advantage of both the opportunities and the parameters that these
assignments introduce. The resulting work builds upon a long-standing tradition of photographic
portraiture for the popular press and highlights creative possibilities for 21st-century portrayal.
Curators of the exhibition are Brandon Brame Fortune, curator of painting and sculpture; Anne
Collins Goodyear, assistant curator of prints and drawings; Frank H. Goodyear III, associate curator
of photographs; Wendy Wick Reaves, curator of prints and drawings; and Ann Shumard, curator of
photographs.
Upcoming Temporary Exhibitions
Presidents in Waiting
Jan. 20, 2009 through Jan. 3, 2010
John Adams, perhaps our most cantankerous founding father, viewed vice presidency as the “most
insignificant office” ever invented by man. Adams would probably have never guessed that 14 vice
presidents would succeed to the presidency. This National Portrait Gallery exhibition will focus on
these men, almost one-third of America’s presidents, and how they—upon the death or resignation
of an incumbent or by winning election on their own—became president. If some still remain
unconvinced about the significance of the vice presidential office and those who occupied it,
“Presidents in Waiting” will show that most of those who succeeded to the presidency were highly
capable political figures with the experience and aptitude to be president. Co-curators of the
exhibition are Sidney Hart, senior historian, and James Barber, historian.
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SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION MRC 973 PO
Box 37012 Washington DC 20013-7012 Telephone 202.633.8293 Fax 202.633.8290
National Portrait Gallery Calendar of Events December 2008
Inventing Marcel Duchamp: The Dynamics of Portraiture
March 27 through Aug. 2, 2009
This groundbreaking exhibition casts new light upon Marcel Duchamp (1887–1968), one of the
most influential artists of the recent past. This show demonstrates that Duchamp harnessed the
power of portraiture and self-portraiture both to secure his reputation as an iconoclast and to
establish himself as a major figure in the art world. In the process, he played a key role in the
reinvention of portraiture, exerting a transformative influence from the early 20th century to the
present. The exhibition showcases approximately 100 portraits and self-portraits of Duchamp
ranging from 1912 to the present, including works by his contemporaries Man Ray, Alfred Stieglitz,
Francis Picabia and Florine Stettheimer, as well as portraits by a more recent generation of artists,
such as Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Sturtevant, Yasumasa Morimura, David Hammons, Beatrice
Wood and Douglas Gordon. The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue
distributed by MIT Press, featuring new research by leading scholars and a detailed chronology of
Duchamp’s life. Co-curators for the exhibition are Anne Collins Goodyear, assistant curator of
prints and drawings, and James W. McManus, professor of art history, California State University
Chico.
Reflections/ Refractions: Self-Portraiture in the Twentieth Century
April 10 through Aug. 16, 2009
This exhibition of approximately 75 works will probe the complex issues of understanding identity
in the past century. Included in the exhibition are self-portraits by such diverse artists as Edward
Hopper, Charles Sheeler, Louise Nevelson, Alexander Calder, Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg,
David Hockney, Chuck Close, Larry Rivers, Jacob Lawrence and Faith Ringgold. Although the
works by these artists reveal traditional themes, including impersonation, reinvention, selfconsciousness, vanity and the complex game of seeing a mirrored image, the exhibition will also
explore how issues of identity and self-portrayal were bent in new directions in the 20th century, as
if refracted through a prism.
Permanent Exhibitions
America’s Presidents
This exhibition lies at the very heart of the Portrait Gallery’s mission to tell the American story
through the individuals who have shaped it. “America’s Presidents” showcases an enhanced and
extended display of multiple images of the past 42 presidents of the United States, including Gilbert
Stuart’s “Lansdowne” portrait of George Washington. Five presidents are given expanded attention
because of their significant impact on the office: George Washington, Andrew Jackson, Abraham
Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin D. Roosevelt.
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SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION MRC 973 PO
Box 37012 Washington DC 20013-7012 Telephone 202.633.8293 Fax 202.633.8290
National Portrait Gallery Calendar of Events December 2008
American Origins, 1600–1900
A “conversation about America” is presented in a series of 17 galleries and alcoves chronologically
arranged to take the visitor from the days of contact between Native Americans and European
explorers, through the struggles of independence, to the Gilded Age. Major figures, from Sir Walter
Raleigh to Chief Joseph, Samuel Adams to Henry Clay and Nathaniel Hawthorne to Harriet
Beecher Stowe, are among those included. Three of the 17 galleries are devoted exclusively to the
Civil War—Washington’s only exhibition space that examines this conflict in depth.
Complementing that display is a grouping of modern prints produced from original Mathew Brady
cartes de visite of celebrities of the Civil War era.
Jo Davidson: Biographer in Bronze
Fourteen portraits in bronze and terra-cotta made by renowned American sculptor Jo Davidson
between 1908 and 1946 include depictions of Gertrude Stein, Franklin D. Roosevelt, artist John
Marin and reforming journalist Lincoln Steffens.
Twentieth-Century Americans
Four galleries off of the museum’s magnificent third-floor Great Hall showcase the major cultural
and political figures of the 20th century. From the reform movement of the first two decades to the
movements for social justice and civil rights of the 1960s and 1970s and from World War I to the
Persian Gulf War, visitors can follow the unceasing struggle to achieve the American ideal.
Bravo! and Champions
Two additional exhibitions feature particular themes in American life. “Bravo!” showcases
individuals who have brought the performing arts to life, beginning with P. T. Barnum, who raised
the curtain on modern entertainment in the late 19th century, and continuing through the present.
“Champions” salutes the dynamic American sports figures whose impact extends beyond the
athletic realm and makes them a part of the larger story of the nation. A lively combination of
portraits, artifacts, memorabilia and videos enhances both exhibitions.
The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery was established by an Act of Congress in 1962 and
opened to the public in 1968. It is the only museum of its kind in the United States to combine the
aspects of American history, biography and art.
The National Portrait Gallery is housed in the Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and
Portraiture at Eighth and F streets, N.W., Washington, D.C. Smithsonian information:
(202) 633-1000; TTY (202) 633-5285. Web sites: www.npg.si.edu and reynoldscenter.org.
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SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION MRC 973 PO
Box 37012 Washington DC 20013-7012 Telephone 202.633.8293 Fax 202.633.8290
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