Recognizing the accomplishments of notable contemporary Americans whose portraits reside in the National Portrait Gallery collection.
Save the Date
Sunday, November 17, 2019
National Portrait Gallery
On Sunday, November 19, 2017, the second biennial American Portrait Gala raised $1 million in support of the museum’s compelling exhibitions program.
The black tie event included a chic cocktail reception, seated dinner for 400 beneath the glittering glass canopy of the Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard, and a musical performance by four-time Grammy Award-winning artist Esperanza Spalding. During dinner, guests enjoyed presentations of the Portrait of a Nation Prize, recognizing former Secretary of State Dr. Madeleine K. Albright; medical doctor and HIV/AIDS researcher David D. Ho, M.D.; artistic director, choreographer and dancer Bill T. Jones; film director, producer, writer and actor Spike Lee; and multi-award-winning actress Rita Moreno. All recipients have portraits in the museum’s collection and have made significant contributions to the nation’s shared history, development, and culture in fields as diverse as politics, diplomacy, science, the arts, entertainment, and human rights. The portraits of the award recipients remained on view in the National Portrait Gallery’s “Recent Acquisitions” exhibition through Nov. 4, 2018.
Portrait of a Nation Prize
The National Portrait Gallery worked closely with internationally renowned sculptor and public artist Barton Rubenstein to create the Portrait of a Nation Prize, a limited edition award constructed of mirror polished stainless steel.