Visionary: The Cumming Family Collection

April 24, 2020 - January 18, 2021
Afrian American woman with long hair and gray sweater standing against a white background
“Untitled, Toni Morrison” by Robert McCurdy, 2006. Oil on canvas. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Ian M. and Annette P. Cumming. © Robert McCurdy

This exhibition reveals the results of over twenty-five years of inspired collecting by Ian and Annette Cumming.  Beginning in 1995, the Cummings worked with their friend D. Dodge Thompson to commission or acquire over two dozen portraits. Important American artists, such as Chuck Close, Robert McCurdy and Nelson Shanks, created these likenesses of national and global leaders. Sitters include Warren Buffett, Al Gore, Denyce Graves, the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, Toni Morrison and E. O. Wilson. Twenty-two of these portraits are gifts or promised gifts to the Portrait Gallery, including The Four Justices by Nelson Shanks, an iconic group portrait featuring the women of the Supreme Court: Sandra Day O’Connor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. “Visionary: The Cumming Family Collection” celebrates this major acquisition of contemporary portraits.