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National Portrait Gallery Celebrates 2018 Hispanic Heritage Month

Family Fiesta Will Be Held Saturday, Sept. 29

August 14, 2018

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 with free public programs and events that highlight Hispanic artists and subjects featured in the museum’s collection. In addition to fostering dialogue around the remarkable contributions of individuals, this bilingual celebration will offer insight into the ways in which Latino cultures, traditions and stories have helped shape this country’s history. As part of the Portrait Gallery’s initiative to become fully bilingual (English and Spanish), the museum now has nine dual-language exhibitions. 

The Portrait Gallery has recently added new portraits of prominent Latino figures and artists to its permanent collection through a donation by Gilberto Cárdenas, professor emeritus, university of Notre Dame. A crucial figure in the development of Latino Studies in the United States, Cárdenas has tirelessly supported artists and promoted the appreciation of Latino art.

“This is a transformative gift that brings into focus historical figures and artists who are key to the Latino experience,” said Taína Caragol, the Portrait Gallery’s curator of painting and sculpture and Latino art and history. “This group of portraits represents many trailblazers of the Latinx community and captures the social ferment of the Chicano and Nuyorican art communities.”

The month-long celebration includes a special Nuestra Ciudad/Our City festival Saturday, Sept. 29, which will be presented at the museum in partnership with the Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School. The festival will feature local artists, musicians and dancers. In addition to the special events taking place at the Portrait Gallery during Hispanic Heritage Month, the museum will also have on view numerous portraits by Latino artists or of Latino sitters, including Rudolfo Anaya, Teresa Carreño, Antonia Hernández, Frida Kahlo, José Limón and Felipe Luciano.


Thursdays at Noon: 3 in 30
Thursday, Sept. 13 
G Street Lobby
People and portraits are all connected in this 30-minute tour that explores a single topic through the lens of three individuals. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, visitors will learn about the unique lives and contributions of three Latinx artists: Miguel Covarrubias, Frida Kahlo and José Limón. 

Young Portrait Explorers: Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez
Mondays, Sept. 10 and 24; 10:30–11:30 a.m. 
G Street Lobby
This program touches on art and history through storytelling. For toddlers up to age 5 and their adult companions. Registration required at npg.eventbrite.com.

Portrait Discovery Days 
Saturdays and Sundays; 1–4 p.m.
Education Center
Visitors can listen to a story and create art inspired by someone in the Portrait Gallery’s collection.
Sept. 15 and 16: Dolores Huerta 
Sept. 22 and 23: José Limón 
Sept. 30: Cesar Chavez 
Oct. 6 and 7: Frida Kahlo 
Oct. 13 and 14: Sonia Sotomayor

Thursdays at Noon: Curator’s Choice
Thursday, Sept. 27
G Street Lobby 
Curator Taína Caragol will discuss the Native American individuals in Ken Gonzales-Day’s work on view in the exhibition “UnSeen: Our Past in a New Light.”

Nuestra Ciudad/Our City—Hispanic Heritage Month Festival  
Saturday, Sept. 29; 11:30 a.m.–3 p.m. 
Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard 
Visitors can meet local artists, musicians and dancers, and join in the festivities as the museum celebrates Washington, D.C.’s Hispanic heritage. Held in partnership with Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School.

Beyond this month-long celebration, the Portrait Gallery will also host a special celebration dedicated to El Día de los Muertos Nov. 1. This evening event will feature live music, dancing and crafts, as well as special performances in celebration of this Mexican tradition by the Washington-based band Los Gallos Negros and the Maru Montero Dance Company.

National Portrait Gallery

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery tells the multifaceted story of the United States through the individuals who have shaped American culture. Spanning 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. Connect with the museum at npg.si.edu, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and the museum’s blog. 

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