The Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery focuses on people who have had an impact on the culture and history of the United States. In addition to politicians and presidents there are portraits of entertainers, sports figures, political activists, champions and scoundrels.
The National Portrait Gallery always has several galleries filled with new exhibits. In addition to these new exhibits, there are many galleries that house the museum’s permanent exhibits. Permanent exhibits include:
- America’s Presidents
- American Origins, 1600-1900
- Bravo! (performing arts including stage and circus)
- Champions (sports figures)
- Jo Davidson – Biographer in Bronze
- The Struggle for Justice
- Twentieth Century Americans
America’s Presidents Exhibit
The America’s Presidents exhibit is a complete collection of portraits of the presidents. The exhibit includes the Lansdowne portrait of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart and the cracked plate photograph of Abraham Lincoln. George Washington (1st president), Andrew Jackson (7th president), Abraham Lincoln (16th president), Theodore Roosevelt (26th president) and Franklin Delano Roosevelt (32nd president) all had great impact on the history of the United States and receive greater coverage in this exhibit.
American Origins, 1600-1900
The American Origins exhibit consists of seventeen galleries and small spaces. Included are portraits of Queen Elizabeth I of England, Pocahontas, Powhatan (chief of the Algonquian federation of Indians in Virginia), E Tow Oh Koam (Iroquois leader), Ho Nee Yeath Taw No Row (Mohawk leader), Phillis Wheatley (slave turned successful writer), Olaudah Equiano (slave turned abolitionist), Anne Catharine Hoof Green (managed the Maryland Gazette that covered events leading to the American Revolution), Samuel Seabury (a religious leader favoring reconciliation with Great Britain in 1774), Thomas Jefferson, Richard Henry Lee (delegate to the Second Continental Congress), Horatio Gates (a British soldier later appointed as a brigadier general in the Continental army), Marquis de Lafayette, Thayendanegea – Joseph Brant (a chief who encouraged Iroquois to fight against the Americans) and hundreds more.
Jo Davidson – Biographer in Bronze
This exhibit includes 14 sculptures including John Martin (artist, painter), Lincoln Steffens (journalist with an interest in political corruption, muckraker, political philosopher with some enthusiasm for Communism), Gertrude Stein (an American writer who lived in Paris) and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
The Struggle for Justice
This exhibit focuses on people who worked for establishing civil rights for disenfranchised or marginalized groups. Included are portraits of Lucretia Mott (women’s rights), Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton (women’s rights), Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, Andrew Carnegie, W.E.B. Du Bois, Carrie Chapman Catt, George Washington Carver, Thurgood Marshall, Earl Warren, Rosa Parks and many others.
Click National Portrait Gallery Website to visit the website of the Smithsonian Institution National Portrait Gallery.
The National Portrait Gallery is located at 801 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004. Click Here for Google Map showing the location of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery.
Closest Metro Station: The Gallery Place-Chinatown Metro Station on the Red Line is nearest to the Portrait Gallery.