National Portrait Gallery
The Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery was established by an Act of Congress in 1962 and opened to the public
in 1968. The mission of the National Portrait Gallery is to collect and display images of "men and women who have
made significant contributions to the history, development and culture of the people of the United States." It is
the only museum of its kind in the United States to combine the aspects of American history, biography and art.
The museum's collection includes nearly 20,000 works, ranging from paintings and sculpture to photographs and
drawings. The National Portrait Gallery is housed in the Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture
on F Street N.W., Washington, D.C., between Eighth and Ninth streets.
Some of the prominent works in the National Portrait Gallery's collections include:
- "Lansdowne" portrait of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart
- Benjamin Franklin by Joseph Duplessis (the image on the $100 bill)
- Mary Cassatt by Edgar Degas
- Abraham Lincoln by Alexander Gardner
- Grant and His Generals by Ole Peter Hansen Balling
- Charlie Chaplin by Edward Steichen
- Jackson Pollock by Hans Namuth
- Gertrude Stein by Jo Davidson
- Hillary Rodham Clinton by Ginny Stanford
- John Singleton Copley's self-portrait
Additionally, the National Portrait Gallery's collections include portraits of all U.S. presidents, more than 5,400
glass-plate negatives from the studios of Mathew Brady and original artwork from more than 1,600 TIME magazine
covers. Many of these works may be viewed on the Portrait Gallery's Web site:
Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture
The National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum re-opened in July 2006 after extensive
renovation that showcases its most dramatic architectural features, including skylights, a curving double staircase,
porticos and vaulted galleries illuminated by natural light. The renovation also created a shared main entrance for
both the National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Museum on F Street; the G Street entrance serves
tour groups and provides access to the shared museum stores and exhibitions.
The building's most significant new spaces are four major facilities that were made possible through generous
private donations: the Lunder Conservation Center, the Luce Foundation Center for American Art, the Nan Tucker
McEvoy Auditorium, and the Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard.
The Lunder Conservation Center is the first art conservation facility in the United States that allows the public
permanent behind-the-scenes views of the museums' preservation work. Conservation staff from both museums are
visible to the public through floor-to-ceiling glass walls. The Luce Foundation for American Art is the first
visible art storage and study center in Washington. The Nan Tucker McEvoy Auditorium, a 346-seat facility equipped
with state-of-the-art audiovisual technology, hosts lectures and films, as well as music, theater and dance
performances. The Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard will provide a dynamic, year-round public gathering space
suitable for a variety of functions. The courtyard opens to the public Sunday, Nov. 18.
The Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery tells the stories of America through the individuals who have built U.S.
culture. Through the visual arts, performing arts and new media, the Portrait Gallery portrays poets and presidents,
visionaries and villains, actors and activists who speak American history.