Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery Announces the Return of Select In-Person Programs as Virtual Workshops Continue March, April, May

In the Galleries: March – May | All listings are in EST

Drawn to Figures
Thursday, April 14, 10 a.m.–12 p.m.
G Street Lobby
This drawing workshop highlights portraits in our permanent collection. Led by artist Jill Galloway, each session includes instruction, guided drawing sessions, and all supplies. Open to artists of all levels, ages 18 and up. Fee: $12. Space is limited. Registration required.

Drawn to Figures
Thursday, April 28, 10 a.m.–12 p.m.
G Street Lobby
This drawing workshop highlights portraits in our special exhibition “Hung Liu: Portraits of Promised Lands.” Led by artist Jill Galloway, each session includes instruction, guided drawing sessions and all supplies. Open to artists of all levels, ages 18 and up. Fee: $12. Space is limited. Registration required.

Strike a Prose: Time, Memory & History
Friday, May 6 10 a.m.–12 p.m.
G Street Lobby

In this creative writing workshop, we will gain inspiration from “Hung Liu: Portraits of Promised Lands” to develop stories that explore the themes of time, memory and history. Participants may write nonfiction, fiction or poetry in response to the guided writing prompts. Open to writers of all levels, ages 18+. Fee: $12. Registration required.

Young Portrait Explorers: The Four Justices
Wednesday, May 11, 11–11:30 a.m. & 3–3:30 p.m.
Education Center

Join us at the museum as we discuss the four pioneering women Supreme Court justices portrayed in Nelson Shank’s 2012 painting “The Four Justices.” This program for children up to age five and their adult companions touches on art and history through storytelling. Parents and guardians must remain with their children. Masks and proof of vaccination required for participants over the age of five. Class size is limited. Free—Registration required.

Strike a Prose: Migration Stories
Friday, May 13, 10 a.m.–12 p.m.
G Street Lobby

In this creative writing workshop, we will write stories (nonfiction and fiction) exploring the themes of homeland and migration. Guided writing exercises inspired by works of art in the exhibition “Hung Liu: Portraits of Promised Lands” will help us develop rich narratives that weave in our own personal and family histories. Open to writers of all levels who are 18+. Fee: $12. Registration required.

El Muro by Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company
May 17, 18 & 19, 6:30 p.m.
Kogod Courtyard

The newest work by the Portrait Gallery’s choreographer-in-residence, Dana Tai Soon Burgess, is entitled “El Muro” (The Wall in Spanish). “El Muro” explores the universal themes of acceptance and the quest for a place to call home. This 30-minute modern dance performance featuring ten members from the acclaimed D.C.-based company will be accompanied by live music from Martin Zarzar, formerly of Pink Martini. Free—Registration required.

Virtual Programs

March – May
For more information on the Portrait Gallery’s ongoing and past remote programs, explore the “Visit at Home” page of the museum’s website at

Virtual Writing Hour
Select Tuesdays, 5 p.m.
Online via Zoom March 1 & 15 |  April 5 & 26 | May 10 & 24

Join us for a virtual creative writing hour at the National Portrait Gallery. We’ve set up an online space where writers can create, connect and draw inspiration from the Portrait Gallery’s collection. Grab a happy hour beverage and write with us. Try out one of our writing prompts or bring your own in-progress writing project. We will write for about 30 minutes and end each session with a brief discussion or reading. Free—Registration required.

Select Wednesdays, 11 a.m.
YouTube @smithsoniannpg.
March 2 – Introducing… the National Portrait Gallery
March 16 – Charlayne Hunter-Gault
March 30 – Martha Graham
April 13 – Hung Liu
May 11 – The Outwin 2022
May 25 – The Outwin 2022

Explore the Portrait Gallery from a distance as a museum educator guides you through our museum. During this program for ages 3 and up, we’ll look at portraits of people who changed history and hear their inspiring stories.

Drawn to Figures
Select Thursdays, 11 a.m. | Online via Zoom
March 3 & 17
April 7 & 21
May 12 & 26

Discover your inner artist in this online workshop on sketching the human body. Artist Jill Galloway will highlight the techniques and challenges of figure drawing while providing guided instruction and helpful tips. Open to all skill levels, ages 13 and up. Free—Registration required.

Virtual Strike a Prose: Migration Poems
Tuesday, March 8, 5 p.m. | Online via Zoom

In this creative writing workshop, we will write poems exploring the themes of homeland and migration. We will engage in guided writing exercises inspired by works of art in the exhibition “Hung Liu: Portraits of Promised Lands” to deliver vivid narrative poems. Open to writers of all levels who are 18+. Free—Registration required.

Young Portrait Explorers
Wednesdays, 11–11:30 a.m. & 3–3:30 p.m. | Online via Zoom
March 9: Hung Liu
March 23: Antonia Pantoja
April 6: Duke Ellington
April 20: Esperanza Spalding
May 4: Lili‘uokalani
May 18: Yo-Yo Ma

Join our virtual workshop for children ages 3–6 and their adult companions as we learn about art, history and more! Explore the Portrait Gallery’s collection with educators in a 30-minute activity that incorporates close looking at portraiture, movement and artmaking. Free—Registration required.

In Dialogue: Smithsonian Objects and Social Justice
Thursday, March 10, 5 p.m.
Online via Zoom

Heighten your civic awareness through conversations about art, history and material culture. Each month, educators from the National Portrait Gallery will partner with colleagues from across the Smithsonian to discuss how historical objects from their respective collections speak to today’s social justice issues. What makes work more just? Together with our co-hosts from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, we will explore labor justice and the ways that workers leverage their power in relationship with Domingo Ulloa’s 1960 painting “Braceros” and a 1975 photograph by Cathy E. Murphy depicting Fred Ross and Dolores Huerta. Free—Registration required.

Wind Down Wednesday: #5womenartists
Wednesday, March 16, 5 p.m.
Instagram Live @smithsonianNPG

It has been six years since the hashtag started – how many women artists can you name today? Whether you are adding a few more artists to the list or celebrating women you already know, join us on Instagram Live for art history highlights. Grab a seat, make a drink with us and sip away as we discuss women artists bucking trends and making waves.

New Approaches to Representing Women in Science: In Conversation with Leila McNeill,
Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya and Anna Reser

Tuesday, March 22, 5 p.m.
Online via Zoom
Closed captioning provided.

Join us for a dialogue between historians of science Leila McNeill and Anna Reser, co-founders of the independent magazine “Lady Science” and co-authors of “Forces of Nature: The Women Who Changed Science,” and Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya, a multidisciplinary artist known for portraiture projects like “Beyond Curie.” Lacey Baradel, science historian at the National Portrait Gallery, will moderate the conversation.

The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the recent passing of Daniel B. Greenberg, whose generosity and that of his wife, Susan, makes the Greenberg Steinhauser Forum in American Portraiture possible. The program is hosted by PORTAL, the Portrait Gallery’s Scholarly
Free—Registration required.

In Dialogue: Museum Objects and Social Justice
Tuesday, April 12, 5 p.m.
Online via Zoom

Join the National Portrait Gallery and the National Museum of American History in a discussion about representation, art and undocumented immigrants. How do museums highlight the images and stories of people who are forced to hide? We will examine Barbara Carrasco’s Pop Art print of lawyer, activist and community leader Antonia Hernández as well as a monarch butterfly poster created by activists in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Free—Registration required.

Wind Down Wednesday: Orchidaceous
Wednesday, April 20, 5 p.m.
Instagram Live @smithsonianNPG

It’s all about flower power! April is National Orchid Month and the Orchidaceae family is in bloom and on view in the Smithsonian Gardens’ exhibition “Orchids: Hidden Stories of Groundbreaking Women” in our very own Kogod Courtyard. Discover the idiosyncrasies and benefits of having orchids in your home, learn about Georgia O’Keeffe’s obsession with depicting orchids and open your olfactory senses to experience a demonstration of a fragrant botanical drink.

Art AfterWords: A Book Discussion
Tuesday, May 17, 5:30–7 p.m.
Online via Zoom

The National Portrait Gallery, the 1882 Foundation and the DC Public Library invite you to an encore virtual conversation about displacement and the power of amplifying overlooked stories. Join us as we analyze a portrait from the exhibition “Hung Liu: Portraits of Promised Lands,” and discuss the related book “The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts” by Maxine Hong Kingston. Participants are encouraged to learn more about the exhibition before the event. DCPL cardholders can access “The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts” here.

For Teachers

Ruth Asawa: Artist and Activist
Wednesday, March 2, 4:30 p.m.
Online via Zoom

In this workshop, educators will explore Ruth Asawa’s life and work, from her time as a prisoner in an internment camp for Japanese Americans and later as an avant-garde art student, to her life as a mother, working artist, and arts activist. Learn how to incorporate her philosophies on arts education in the classroom. As Asawa explained, “through the arts you can learn many, many skills that you cannot learn through books.” Free—Registration required.

Traces of a Life in Bondage: Flora’s Silhouette
Wednesday, March 23, 5 p.m.
Online via Zoom

This workshop will focus on a life-size, hand-cut silhouette representing Flora (1777–1815), a woman who was enslaved in Connecticut, and the bill of sale that transferred her ownership on December 13, 1796, when she was nineteen years old. Her life story invites us to consider the period from the American Revolution to the close of the War of 1812 (1812–15) from a rarely considered perspective—that of an enslaved woman. Flora is emblematic of vast numbers of enslaved women whose likenesses and histories have gone unrecorded. Her silhouette was traced at life-size directly from her cast shadow, lending a tangible sense of human presence to her portrait. But who made it? And for what purpose? We will explore these questions through consideration of the few facts known about Flora’s life; the regional differences that distinguished the experiences of enslaved women in the North and in the South; the social conventions of silhouette-making; and the history of representing African American women in late eighteenth and nineteenth-century American portraiture. Free—Registration required.

An Introduction to the Portrait Gallery’s New Curriculum Guide: Expanding Roles of

Tuesday, March 29, 8 p.m.
Online via Zoom

Join us as we unveil our new curriculum guide, Expanding Roles of Women. This expansive guide provides an entry point for teaching about the history of women in the United States from the colonial period to the dawn of the twentieth century, with a focus on drawing connections to the present. Participants will be introduced to the guide’s themes—Suffragists, Professionals and Radicals—as well as the featured portrait subjects, including Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Mary Cassatt, Anne Catherine Hoof Green, Zitkála-Šá and many more! We’ll also discuss the variety of historical women’s voices presented in this guide and consider our own perspectives on teaching women’s history. Free—Registration required.

Virtual Docent Tours

Group Tours
By reservation | Online via Zoom

The National Portrait Gallery offers docent-led group tours online for adults interested in exploring the museum remotely. The following tours will be available by registration: America’s Presidents, Highlights of the National Portrait Gallery, Docent’s Choice and Special Exhibitions. Reservations must be made three weeks in advance of the desired tour date. To receive a tour request form, e-mail or click here. All tours are subject to availability; last-minute cancellations may occur.

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 nation’s story.                    

The National Portrait Gallery is located at Eighth and G streets N.W., Washington, D.C. Smithsonian Information: (202) 633-1000. Connect with the museum at and on Facebook, Instagram, X and YouTube.  

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