Visit the Exhibition
Many of the remarkable objects in “Capital Portraits: Treasures from Washington Private Collections” have not been exhibited previously in a museum or published in a scholarly monograph. Indeed, most have been seen only by those invited to the homes of the owners. So, while portraits in Washington public collections are well known, little attention has been paid to the portraits in private collections.
The works in the exhibition range in date from 1750 to 2008. Most, but not all, are of Americans and by American artists. The majority were commissioned to celebrate important occasions in the life of the individual who is represented, a practice that is consistent with well-developed portrait traditions. Seen together, they provide sense of the importance of portraiture as a cultural and artistic expression in America.
The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue published by Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press. The co-curators of the exhibition are Carolyn Kinder Carr, deputy director and chief curator at the National Portrait Gallery, and Ellen G. Miles, curator emerita of painting and sculpture at the National Portait Gallery.
"Capital Portraits: Treasures from Washington Private Collections" contains additional portraits not included in this Web site; it opened on April 8, 2011 and closed on September 5, 2011.
The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery, 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.
Location: 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).
Museum Hours: 11:30 a.m.–7:00 p.m. daily. Closed December 25. Admission: FREE. For more information on visiting the museum, please visit the National Portrait Gallery's website.