Martin E. Sullivan
Director of the National Portrait Gallery
This is a year of leadership transition for both the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian Institution. I began serving in April 2008 as the fifth director of the museum, and on July 1, Dr. G. Wayne Clough took office as the new Secretary of the Institution. Additionally, as terms expired, the Portrait Gallery’s Commission elected Mallory Walker as chair and John O. Boochever as vice chair.
It has been a period of great achievements for the museum. Under the leadership of former director Marc Pachter, the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum celebrated the opening of the Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard, with its undulating glass roof, in November 2007. This crowned the renovation of our National Historic Landmark building, once the Old Patent Office, now designated the Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture. The Lunder Conservation Center also won the prestigious Keck Award from the International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works. The Portrait Gallery presented eight major new exhibitions and two special installations; we also rotated more than one hundred works in the permanent collection galleries. More than seventy new works were added to our collections, and sixty new subjects are now represented.
The Portrait Gallery also had a surprise addition to its exhibition schedule when Stephen Colbert featured the museum on his mock-news analysis show, The Colbert Report. In three episodes, Colbert set out on a fantasy quest to have his portrait included among the greats. The sequence concluded with the Portrait Gallery temporarily hanging his humorous portrait. It was a hit with Colbert fans and brought in thousands of new visitors to the museum.
This report demonstrates the unique public-private partnership of our museum by showing how federal funds and the support provided through the generosity of our donors work together to help the Portrait Gallery achieve its goals. It also explains in more detail the achievements and initiatives that have been carried out this fiscal year.
The good work that the Portrait Gallery does could not be completed without the support of all of our donors. I am especially grateful for the generous leadership of lead supporters Helen Reinsch, Jon and Lillian Lovelace, and, most especially, the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation.
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2011 Annual Report
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