What's On

View of "American Cool" exhibition

Past Exhibitions

  • Black and white photo of Charlie Parker playing the saxophone

    In the Groove: Jazz Portraits by Herman Leonard

    August 5, 2016 - February 20, 2017
    First floor

    This exhibition features Herman Leonard’s iconic images of jazz legends such as Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Billie Holiday, Thelonious Monk and Sarah Vaughan.

    This exhibition is available for booking.

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  • Astronaut in a flightsuit

    In Memoriam: John Glenn

    Portrait on view from December 9, 2016 - January 8, 2017

    The National Portrait Gallery celebrates the accomplishments of astronaut and Senator John Glenn with a watercolor and graphite portrait by Henry C. Caselli Jr.

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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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  • Many lying down with cotton pouring from his mouth

    IDENTIFY: Sheldon Scott

    November 5, 2016 5:30 p.m.
    Courtyard & Great Hall

    Sheldon Scott presents Precious in Da Wadah, A Portrait of the Geechee.  IDENTIFY is the National Portrait Gallery's performance art series, which focuses attention on activism, visibility, and experimentation through portrayal.

    Image:  Cotton Mouth (detail) by Sheldon Scott, 2013 /  C-Print on Archival Paper, 26 x 38 in.  Edition of 20 / © 2013 Sheldon Scott


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  • Young man playing guitar and a harmonica

    Celebrate: Bob Dylan

    Portrait on view October 17, 2016 - October 30, 2016
    First floor

    The National Portrait Gallery celebrates the accomplishments of the singer and songwriter Bob Dylan, who was awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature Oct. 13.

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  • Man in a pink jacket with gray hair (Arnold Palmer)

    In Memoriam: Arnold Palmer

    Portrait on view September 26, 2016 - October 13, 2016
    First floor

    The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery recognizes the life and accomplishments of professional golfer Arnold Palmer with an oil painting by Paul Burns installed in the museum’s “In Memoriam” space on the first floor.

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  • Painted portrait of Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood, sitting in chair

    Kevin Spacey as President Francis J. Underwood

    Portrait on display from February 24, 2016 - October 10, 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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