IDENTIFY: Performance Art Series
Experience portraiture through performance and embrace new forms of expression. The museum’s first performance art series draws from personal stories, forgotten histories, and lost voices. The series fills the gaps in the museum’s historic collection by focusing on activism and visibility with contemporary artists experimenting with portrayal.
Artist in Residence
Inspired by the Portrait Gallery’s exhibitions and collections, through 2019, Dana Tai Soon Burgess, the museum’s first choreographer in residence, creates new works, performances, and workshops on the American experience. Check out our calendar listings for more information on upcoming programs.
America Now is a three-museum collaboration with the National Museum of American History and Smithsonian American Art Museum. Through annual programming, the Portrait Gallery highlights identity, shared American cultural values, and themes found in history and art.
When the temperatures heat up, come get cool in the Kogod Courtyard with drinks, art, tours, and the Hhottest DJs. These monthly evening programs run from March to August and are free to the public. Stop by after work, bring your friends, bring a date, and enjoy an evening of music and art at the National Portrait Gallery.
The Portrait Gallery invites artists and authors who have created visual and historical portraits of sitters in our permanent collection or special exhibitions to share their impressions of the sitters who’ve moved them. How does our collection of portraits, via the artist’s or author’s creation, contribute to the national understanding of the sitters’ place in art and history? Please check our calendar for next upcoming talk. Films The Portrait Gallery partners with individual film producers and film festivals to present screenings of films that increase our knowledge about sitters in the collection. Please check our calendar for our next screening.
Visitors of all ages and artistic abilities learn more about the artistic process through weekly drop-in workshops exploring new materials and techniques. A great way to kick start the weekend, unwind, and release your inner artist. Fridays, 1–6 p.m., Education Center, E151.
Strike a Prose
Spark your imagination and let the National Portrait Gallery inspire you in an informal creative writing session for adults. Led by local writers and museum educators, this workshop series uses the Portrait Gallery’s permanent collection and special exhibitions as a springboard for writing in the galleries. Through looking, reading, discussion, and writing, participants will experience our portraits through a different lens.
Everyone is welcome, from beginner to advanced, as the workshops are designed for all skill levels. Materials are provided. This program is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required due to limited space. Check out our calendar for the next workshop series.
Thursdays at Noon
There’s something happening every Thursday at noon at the National Portrait Gallery. Whether you are “Slow Looking” at one portrait, experiencing three portraits in thirty minutes with “3 in 30,” discovering people and faces from American history you might not know with “Overlooked,” or uncovering the story of a new portrait in the collection with “Curator’s Choice,” we’ve got you covered. Meet inside the G Street entrance every Thursday at noon.
Practice English and meet new people through discussions about American history, culture, and art. The Conversation Circle program leads participants on a chronological walk through history, with a new focus and different portraits each week. Discussion questions and activities encourage participants to connect with each other and share their own cultural experiences. This drop-in program takes place every Friday from 10:00 a.m. to noon. Meet in the G Street lobby. In partnership with the DC Public Library.
Drawn to Figures
From faces and hands to pose and clothing, this adult sketching workshop focuses on the fundamentals of portraiture. Artist Jill Galloway combines in-gallery discussions with step-by-step drawing techniques in a program that is one part art history and one part studio art.
This workshop is open to artists ages 18 and up of all levels and abilities. Materials and aprons are provided. This program is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required due to limited space. Check out our calendar for the next workshop series.