What's On

Photograph of an exhibition installation

Current Exhibitions

  • Babe Ruth and other Red Sox pitchers by Underwood & Underwood (active 1880 - c. 1950) / Gelatin paper print, 1915 / National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

    One Life: Babe Ruth

    June 24, 2016 - May 21, 2017
    First floor

    This exhibition examines Babe Ruth as a baseball legend and the marketing frenzy his name and image fueled before the commercialization of sports superstars became routine.

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  • Double Take: Daguerreian Portrait Pairs

    June 17, 2016 - June 4, 2017
    First floor

    Highlighting the depth of the National Portrait Gallery’s early photography collection, this exhibition will showcase fourteen daguerreotypes—two portraits each—of seven subjects: George Bancroft, Jenny Lind, Zachary Taylor, Frederick Douglass, Jefferson Davis, Daniel Webster, and John Quincy Adams.

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  • Formal photographic portrait of Phineas Barnum

    Lincoln's Contemporaries

    May 13, 2016 - May 19, 2019
    First floor, Meserve Corridor

    Who were Abraham Lincoln’s contemporaries? They included many fascinating people beyond the politicians and military leaders of the Civil War.

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  • Portrait of Meryl Streep

    Hollywood and Time: Celebrity Covers

    April 1, 2016 - September 11, 2016 | Available as a traveling exhibition

    From its beginning in the 1920s, Time magazine responded to the public’s embrace of movie stars on and off the screen and its fascination with the glitter of Tinseltown. This exhibition will focus on approximately 35 Hollywood moguls and celebrities whose vision and talents carried us to different eras and exotic places.

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  • Photograph named "Margaret and Marquetta Tisdell, Original Providence Baptist Church" by Paul Damato

    The Outwin 2016: American Portraiture Today

    March 12, 2016 - January 8, 2017
    Second floor

    This exhibition celebrates the finalists of the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition.  Every three years artists from across the country are invited to investigate the art of portrayal.  The resulting juried exhibition showcases excellence and innovation in contemporary portraiture through a variety of media used by artists today.

    This exhibition will travel and is available for booking.

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  • Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood by Jonathan Yeo

    Kevin Spacey as President Francis J. Underwood

    Portrait on view starting February 24, 2016
    First floor

    The Portrait Gallery unveiled a new portrait of Kevin Spacey as his Golden Globe-winning character Frank Underwood from the Netflix original series, House of Cards.

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Permanent Exhibitions

  • Bill and Melinda Gates

    20th Century Americans

    Ongoing exhibition
    Third floor

    Four galleries off of the museum’s magnificent third-floor Great Hall showcase the major cultural and political hallmarks of the 20th century.

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  • portrait of George Washington in military uniform leaning on a canon

    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.

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  • Portrait of Meryl Pocahontas

    American Origins

    Ongoing
    First floor

    A “conversation about America” is on view in a series of 17 galleries and alcoves chronologically arranged to take the visitor from the days of contact between Native Americans and European explorers through the struggles of independence to the Gilded Age.

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  • Portrait of a woman in a cowgirl outfit with a gun.

    Bravo!

    Ongoing exhibition
    Third floor mezzanine

    BRAVO! showcases individuals who have brought the performing arts to life, beginning with P.T. Barnum, who raised the curtain on modern entertainment in the late-19th century and continuing through the present.

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  • Dempsey-Willard Fight Jack Dempsey and Jess Willard Artist: James Montgomery Flagg  1944 Oil on canvas

    Champions

    Ongoing exhibition
    Third floor mezzanine

    “Champions” salutes dynamic American sports figures whose impact beyond the athletic realm made them part of the larger story of the nation. A lively combination of portraits, artifacts, memorabilia and videos enhances the exhibition.

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  • Sculpture of Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney

    Jo Davidson: Biographer in Bronze

    Second Floor

    Fourteen portraits in bronze and terra-cotta made by renowned American sculptor Jo Davidson between 1908 and 1946 are on view. These include depictions of Gertrude Stein, Franklin D. Roosevelt, artist John Marin, and Lincoln Steffens.

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  • The "Four Justices Painting" by Nelson Shanks

    The Four Justices

    Ongoing exhibition
    Second floor

    The National Portrait Gallery celebrated the arrival of Nelson Shanks’s The Four Justices, a tribute to the four female justices who have served on the U.S. Supreme Court.

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  • Portrait of Rosa Parks

    The Struggle for Justice

    Ongoing
    Second floor

    “The Struggle for Justice” showcases the determined men and women—from key nineteenth-century historical figures to contemporary leaders—who struggled to achieve civil rights for disenfranchised or marginalized groups.

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