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 is currently traveling.

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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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  • 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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