Dropping by the museum during your lunch hour or stopping by after work? We have many programs designed specifically for portrait enthusiasts and history buffs. See our events calendar for a full list of events and programs.
IDENTIFY: Performance Art Series
Experience portraiture through performance and embrace new forms of expression. The museum’s first performance art series draws from personal stories, forgotten histories, and lost voices. The series fills the gaps in the museum’s historic collection by focusing on activism and visibility with contemporary artists experimenting with portrayal.
Artist in Residence
Inspired by the Portrait Gallery’s exhibitions and collections, through 2019, Dana Tai Soon Burgess, the museum’s first choreographer in residence, creates new works, performances, and workshops on the American experience. Check out our calendar listings for more information on upcoming programs.
Strike a Prose
Thursdays at Noon
There’s something happening every Thursday at noon at the National Portrait Gallery. Whether you are “Slow Looking” at one portrait, experiencing three portraits in thirty minutes with “3 in 30,” discovering people and faces from American history you might not know with “Overlooked,” or uncovering the story of a new portrait in the collection with “Curator’s Choice,” we’ve got you covered. Meet inside the G Street entrance every Thursday at noon.
Drawn to Figures
From faces and hands to pose and clothing, this adult sketching workshop focuses on the fundamentals of portraiture. Artist Jill Galloway combines in-gallery discussions with step-by-step drawing techniques in a program that is one part art history and one part studio art.
This workshop is open to artists ages 18 and up of all levels and abilities. Materials and aprons are provided. This program is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required due to limited space. Check out our calendar for the next workshop series.
Docent-led Walk-In Tour Schedule
Bring the family or a friend and experience the Portrait Gallery by exploring the portraits and the building’s rich history. Portrait Gallery docents give tours 364 days per year! Tours are subject to cancellation or schedule changes, please visit our calendar to verify times.
Monday–Friday: noon and 2:30 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 11:45 a.m. and 1:30, 3:15, and 4:30 p.m.
Joint Tours with the American Art Museum
Joint Tours of the Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Museum take place weekly at 1:00 p.m., so drop in for this lively tour of both museums! Tours are subject to docent availability; last-minute cancellations may occur. Please check our events calendar.
Tours of “America’s Presidents,” the permanent collections, highlights of the National Portrait Gallery, and temporary exhibitions are available for groups of twelve or more by Portrait Gallery docents. Group reservations are required and six weeks’ or more advance notice is appreciated. All tours are subject to docent availability; last-minute cancellations may occur. To request a group tour, use our tour request form. If your group is twenty-five or more people, please contact NPGAdultTours@si.edu or (202) 633-8519 to discuss options.