Hispanic Heritage Month at the Portrait Gallery

Black and white drawing of bust of man looking out past the viewer
Rudolfo Anaya / Gaspar Enriquez / 2016 / National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution / Commission Made Possible through Federal Support of the Latino Initiatices Pool / Administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center

September 15 marked the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month. While this month is the United States’ official acknowledgement, the Portrait Gallery celebrates Latino art, history and culture year round.

The museum recently added new portraits of prominent Latino figures and artists to its permanent collection, as well as undertook its first Latino commission: a portrait by El Paso artist Gaspar Enríquez of New Mexican writer Rudolfo Anaya, author of Bless Me, Ultima. It will be installed in November. Other acquisitions include a film by Ana Mendieta and portraits of Celia Cruz, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera, Nilo Cruz, Piri Thomas, and more.

The museum invites visitors of all ages to celebrate the month at a variety of events and programs, including a Hispanic Heritage Month Family Day on Oct. 15. There are 24 works of Latino artists and sitters currently on view, including portraits of Rubén Blades, Pedro Martínez, Rita Moreno, Nicholasa Mohr, John Santos and many more, as well as a portrait of Juan Nepomuceno Seguín, hero of the Texas revolution, by Thomas Jefferson Wright, which is on loan from the Texas State Capitol.

Be sure to check our blog for a series of posts on prominent Latin Americans throughout the month!