Photograph of the Late Architect I.M. Pei by Yousuf Karsh On View at the National Portrait Gallery

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery recognizes the life and legacy of acclaimed architect I.M. Pei with a photograph by Armenian Canadian photographer Yousuf Karsh. His portrait will be installed this morning in the museum’s In Memoriam space on the first floor. Media are invited to view and photograph the portrait today during a special open house beginning at 11:30 a.m.

Born in Canton (now Guangzhou), China, in 1917, Pei was considered one of the most influential architects to emerge in the decades following World War II. Drawn to the United States to study architecture in 1935, Pei became a U.S. citizen in 1954 and soon after founded his own architecture firm. As his reputation grew, important projects—such as the commission for the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum—came his way.

Pei is recognized throughout the world for his striking, high-modernist designs. He created such iconic structures as the critically acclaimed East Wing of the National Gallery of Art (1978) and the distinctive glass pyramid that forms the entrance to the Louvre (1989). He has received many major awards, including the coveted Pritzker Prize (1983).

Pei’s portrait can also be photographed or filmed in the museum. For access and an image of the work, contact Karen Vidángos at

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: Follow the museum on social media at @NPGFacebookYouTubeInstagramand Tumblr.

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