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Booker T. Washington

Booker T. Washington
Usage Conditions Apply
Cast after
Richmond Barthé, 28 Jan 1901 - 6 Mar 1989
Modern Art Foundry
Booker T. Washington, 5 Apr 1856 - 14 Nov 1915
1973 cast after 1946 original
With Socle: 80 x 63.5 x 34.3cm (31 1/2 x 25 x 13 1/2")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Restrictions & Rights
Usage conditions apply
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number
Exhibition Label
In the face of racial hatred, segregation, and disenfranchisement following the Civil War, it was unrealistic, Booker T. Washington contended, to expect African Americans to gain entry into America's white-collar professions. Instead, he suggested they establish themselves as a skilled and indispensable laboring class. With that accomplished, racial discrimination would gradually disappear. In 1881 Washington put this theory to the test, becoming the director of the newly created Negro Normal School in Tuskegee, Alabama. As the school grew, Washington became viewed as the nation's leading spokesman for African Americans. Yet by the century's end, many critics began to challenge his "get along" philosophy.
Cast by NPG 1973 from the 1946 original at the Hall of Fame of Great Americans, Bronx, NY
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
American Origins
On View
NPG, East Gallery 120