America’s Presidents

Ongoing
Second floor

The nation’s only complete collection of presidential portraits outside the White House, this exhibition lies at the heart of the Portrait Gallery’s mission to tell the American story through the individuals who have shaped it.

“America’s Presidents” is newly refurbished with improved lighting and paint, new labels and wall texts, and the addition of interactive touch screens that allow people to explore the context of each presidency and access other visual material.  The new, entirely bilingual (English and Spanish) and accessible presentation includes extraordinary works of art, notably Gilbert Stuart’s “Lansdowne” portrait of President George Washington, which will be back on view after 18 months of careful conservation and analysis

Having designed a fresh exhibition layout for “America’s Presidents,” the Portrait Gallery has grouped the portraits into six historical chapters. Each of the first five sections is organized around a historical era and leads off with a presidential figure: Washington, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, while a sixth section examines the more recent history of the presidency. Updated content provides visitors with improved ways to understand historical events—both national and international—that coincided with the respective President’s time in office.

View the comprehensive online feature devoted to the presidents:

view of the presidents exhibition and a sculpture of George Washington