Our Recent Acquisitions

Photograph of a man standing on a wooden crate and wearing a leather jacket
Ralph Lauren / Mark Seliger / 2002 / National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution / Gift of the Ralph Lauren Corporation / © 2002 Mark Seliger

Our annual Recent Acquisitions exhibition presents a selection of portraits that have entered into the museum’s renowned collection in the past year. Figures who have made lasting contributions in such areas as medicine, music, literature, art and social justice are represented in paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings, photographs and new media. We’ll be opening the 2017 show on Nov. 17, 2017, and it will remain on view through Nov. 4, 2018.

Watercolor image of a women's bust
Gertrude Hadley Jeannette / Alex Asher Daniel / 2011 / National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution / Gift in Honor of Michael and Sade Lythcott and Dr. Barbara Ann Teer's National Black Theatre 

Joining more than 22,000 other works in the Portrait Gallery’s collection, the 27 new acquisitions depict individuals who have made a significant impact on the history and culture of the United States. Subjects include the lawyer Francis Scott Key, who penned the lyrics for the “Star-Spangled Banner”; former Secretary of State Dr. Madeleine K. Albright; actress Gertrude Jeannette; university president Norman Francis; photographer Harry Callahan; fashion designer Ralph Lauren; and actress Rita Moreno. Each of these portraits contributes to the museum’s mission by helping to enhance the story of this nation through the art of portraiture.