As the National Portrait Gallery’s scholarly center, PORTAL = Portraiture + Analysis facilitates interdisciplinary programs to examine the production and uses of portraiture within its global contexts.
Portraiture encompasses more than a reflection of the self. By fostering new research and scholarly publications, PORTAL places portraiture within wider social and cultural contexts to develop the field of portraiture studies. Through symposia, fellowships, study days, research and a web presence, PORTAL endeavors to situate American portraiture within a global framework.
Edgar P. Richardson Symposium
A biennial symposium cultivating scholarly dialogue about the field of portraiture through the collection and scholarship of the National Portrait Gallery. The symposium happens biennially and is free and open to the public.
The next symposium, “New Perspectives on Portraiture" will be held on September 20 and 21, 2018 in the Nan Tucker McEvoy Auditorium at the National Portrait Gallery. Visit the page for a full description and schedule of speakers
See videos from our 2016 Edgar P. Richardson Symposium Racial Masquerade in American Art and Culture below:
Introductions by Kim Sajet Director, National Portrait Gallery and Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw Associate Professor of History of Art, University of Pennsylvania, Senior Fellow, National Portrait Gallery
“Racial Hauntology in the Age of Obama” Eric Lott, Professor of English and American Studies, CUNY Graduate Center
Introductions by Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw Associate Professor of History of Art, University of Pennsylvania, Senior Fellow, National Portrait Gallery and Jillian B. Vaum PhD Candidate, University of Pennsylvania Artistic Practice Discussion
Cherise Smith Associate Professor of African and African Diaspora Studies, University of Texas at Austin Michael Ray Charles Professor of Art, University of Houston
Introduction and end-of-panel question moderation by Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw, Associate Professor of History of Art, University of Pennsylvania, Senior Fellow, National Portrait Gallery
"Painting the Queen Black: Exploring Portraiture, Performance, and the Materiality of Blackface through Inigo Jones’s Designs for Queen Anne’s Masque of Blackness" - Mia L. Bagneris, Jesse Poesch Junior Professor of Art History, Newcomb Art Department, Tulane University
"Reginald and Gladys Laubin as Cultural Transvestites, 1930 to 1960" - Janet Catherine Berlo, Professor of Art History and Visual and Cultural Studies, University of Rochester
"Racial Masquerade: The Case of F. Holland Day" - Anthony W. Lee Idella Plimpton Kendall Professor of Art History, Mount Holyoke College
"Dance Revolutions: Bodies, Space, and Sound in American Popular Culture" - Christopher J. Smith, Professor & Chair of Musicology and Director of the Vernacular Music Center, Texas Tech University