National Portrait Gallery Celebrates 2019 Hispanic Heritage Month

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 with free public programs and events that highlight Latinx artists and changemakers whose portraits are featured in the museum’s collection. In addition to fostering dialogue around the remarkable contributions of individuals, this bilingual celebration will offer insight into the ways in which Latinx cultures, traditions and stories have influenced U.S. history.

“Latinx and Latin American people have helped shape the history and culture of this country in crucial ways,” said Taína Caragol, the Portrait Gallery’s curator of painting and sculpture and Latino art and history. “Our current exhibitions show the many contributions of Cuban Americans, Chicanos, Tejanos, Mexicans, Dominican Americans, Puerto Ricans and Nuyoricans and their impact on a wide variety of fields from music, to the visual arts, literature, labor unions, sports and politics. The National Portrait Gallery is proud of how its collection is growing, and the museum is making a strong effort to shed light on the cultural diversity and contributions of Latinx and Latin American people.”

The month long celebration includes a special Hispanic Heritage Month Festival Saturday, Sept. 28, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Special tours and art activities, plus performances, workshops and story times (with the Washington Ballet, the Discovery Theater and the DC Public Library), will make the colors, sounds and styles of Latinx art and artists come alive. This program for all ages will be presented at the museum in partnership with the Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School.

The museum will also have more than a dozen portraits by Latino artists or of Latino sitters on view, including Sandra Cisneros, Celia Cruz, Maria Hinojosa, Dolores Huerta, Frida Kahlo, José Limón, Pedro Martínez, Antonio Orendain, Louie Pérez, Diego Rivera, Alex Rodriguez (A-Rod), Sonia Sotomayor and Marta Moreno Vega.

The festivities will also extend beyond Washington, D.C., with the continued tour of “Dolores Huerta: Revolution in the Fields / Revolución en los Campos,” a bilingual exhibition organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service in collaboration with the National Portrait Gallery and with federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center. The exhibition was inspired by the Portrait Gallery’s 2015–16 exhibition curated by Caragol titled “One Life: Dolores Huerta,” which highlighted the life and work of the Latina leader in the California farm workers’ movement of the 1960s and 1970s. The touring exhibition will be on view at the Haggin Museum in Stockton, California, through Oct. 20.

The Portrait Gallery’s Hispanic Heritage Month programming is complemented by year long access to dual-language exhibitions featuring wall text in English and Spanish. The museum also offers additional insights about artworks, sitters and artists in both languages through its SMARTIFY app, which visitors can download free of charge and access beyond the museum’s walls.

 

Programs

Conversation Circles

Fridays, 10 a.m.–noon (ongoing throughout the year)

G Street Lobby

Participants can practice English in small groups while learning more about American history through portraiture. Free—no registration required.

 

Portrait Story Days

Saturdays and Sundays, 1–4 p.m.

Education Center, E151

Visitors can listen to a story and create art inspired by someone in the Portrait Gallery’s collection.

Sept. 7 and 8: Marisol Escobar

Sept. 14 and 15: Sonia Sotomayor

Sept. 21 and 22: Celia Cruz

Sept. 29: José Limón

 

Young Portrait Explorers: Celia Cruz

Mondays, Sept. 9 and 23

10:30–11:30 a.m.

G Street Lobby

Visitors can explore the Portrait Gallery in a program that touches on art and history through storytelling. For toddlers up to age 5 and their adult companions. Free. Registration required at npg.eventbrite.com.

 

¡Muévete! Hispanic Heritage Month Festival

Saturday, Sept. 28; 11:30 a.m.–3 p.m.

Kogod Courtyard

The colors, sounds and styles of Latin America come alive in this festival of Latinx art, artists and sitters. The day will feature special tours and art activities, along with performances, workshops and story times with the Washington Ballet, the Discovery Theater and the DC Public Library.

 

In Focus: Celia Cruz

Thursday, Oct. 3; 12:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

G Street Lobby

Visitors can learn more about influential singer Celia Cruz. Free. Registration required at npg.eventbrite.com.

 

Portrait Story Days

Saturdays & Sundays, 1–4 p.m.

Education Center, E151

Visitors can listen to a story and create art inspired by sitters in the Portrait Gallery’s collection.

Oct. 5 and 6: Dolores Huerta

Oct. 12 and 13: Frida Kahlo

Oct. 19 and 20: Pedro Martínez

 

Young Portrait Explorers: Frida Kahlo

Mondays, Oct. 14 and 28; 10:30–11:30 a.m.

G Street Lobby

Visitors can explore the Portrait Gallery in a program that touches on art and history through storytelling. For toddlers up to age five and their adult companions. Free. Registration required at npg.eventbrite.com.

 

In addition to this month long celebration, the Portrait Gallery will host its annual Día de los Muertos event Saturday, Nov. 2, from 5 to 8:30 p.m. The evening will celebrate the Day of the Dead with live music, Mexican folk dance, artist activities and workshops in the Kogod Courtyard.  

National Portrait Gallery

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery tells the multifaceted story of the United States through the individuals who have shaped American culture. Spanning the visual arts, performing arts and new media, the Portrait Gallery portrays poets and presidents, visionaries and villains, actors and activists whose lives tell the American story.

      The National Portrait Gallery is part of the Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture at Eighth and F streets N.W., Washington, D.C. Smithsonian Information: (202) 633-1000. Connect with the museum at npg.si.edu, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
 

Note to the Editors: The use of diacritics on individual names reflects personal use by the artist or sitter and does not necessarily obey Spanish grammar rules.

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National Portrait Gallery

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery tells the history of America through the individuals who have shaped its culture. Through the visual arts, performing arts and new media, the Portrait Gallery portrays poets and presidents, visionaries and villains, actors and activists whose lives tell the American story.

The National Portrait Gallery is part of the Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture at Eighth and F streets N.W., Washington, D.C. Smithsonian Information: (202) 633-1000. Website: npg.si.edu. Follow the museum on social media at @NPGFacebookYouTubeInstagramand Tumblr.

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