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First-ever Space Dedicated to Children at the National Portrait Gallery

December 19, 2016

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in partnership with Explore! Children’s Museum opens its first-ever space dedicated to children Jan. 28, 2017. “Explore! with the Portrait Gallery” will expand experiences of portraiture by allowing kids to do hands-on activities with portraiture to answer questions such as “What is a portrait?” “How do I see myself?” and “How do others see me?” The open house for press will be held Jan. 24, 2017, from 10 to 11:30 a.m.

Located on the first floor of the museum, this space represents the Portrait Gallery’s first exhibition with an interactive bilingual gallery for visitors with children ages 18 months to 8 years. Visitors will be able to trace each other’s silhouettes, strike a pose for a projected video art piece and experiment with expression and emotion by building faces out of illustrated blocks.

Under the principle that children learn through play, “Explore!” was designed to give children the experience of learning without even knowing they are doing so. The exhibition will feature multisensory elements to ensure accessibility for visitors with disabilities.

“I’m thrilled to engage our youngest visitors with hands-on learning around identity and portraiture,” said Rebecca Kasemeyer, associate director for education and visitor experience at the Portrait Gallery. “To be able to create a space to captivate young minds to think about themselves and others, using portraiture as the catalyst, is truly a testament to our commitment to engaging all visitors.”

This space will be open Tuesday–Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“Explore! with the Portrait Gallery” is a family-friendly exhibition created by the Portrait Gallery and Explore! Children’s Museum of Washington, D.C.

National Portrait Gallery

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery tells the multifaceted story of America through the individuals who have shaped its culture. Through the visual arts, performing arts and new media, the Portrait Gallery portrays poets and presidents, visionaries and villains, actors and activists whose lives tell the American story.

The National Portrait Gallery is part of 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. Website: npg.si.edu. Connect with the museum at Facebook, Instagram, blog, Twitter and YouTube.

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