Visit the Exhibition
This Web site, "Ballyhoo! Portraits As Portraiture" was created in conjunction with a temporary exhibition installed at the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. The exhibition opens on May 9, 2008, and will close on February 8, 2009.
Featuring sixty pieces ranging in date from the late nineteenth century to the present, this exhibition demonstrates how posters function as portraiture. Subjects as diverse as General Pershing, "Buffalo Bill" Cody, Joe Louis, Judy Garland, aviator Jimmy Doolittle and labor leader Lane Kirkland all enhance the poster's mission to attract attention and persuade. 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 celebrity figures.
The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution tells the stories of America through the individuals who have shaped 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.
The National Portrait Gallery is conveniently located at Eighth and F Streets, NW, in Washington D.C., above the Gallery Place–Chinatown Metrorail station (red, yellow, and green lines).
11:30 a.m.–7:00 p.m. daily. Closed December 25.
For more information on visiting the museum, please visit the National Portrait Gallery's Web site.
Views of the Exhibition