Gifts of Art

The National Portrait Gallery houses a collection of over 23,000 portraits—paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, photographs and new media works—of extraordinary people who have made a contribution to America’s history and culture. Seeking to complement and enhance the collection in these areas, the Portrait Gallery looks to donors to help in its mission to present high quality works depicting men and women who have shaped the American experience.

All gifts of art must be formally accepted by the Portrait Gallery Commission for accession into the collection. Gifts of art that become part of the permanent collection continue to reaffirm the Portrait Gallery’s distinction.

Outright Gifts

The National Portrait Gallery welcomes outright gifts of art that are in accord with the collection and adhere to the Portrait Gallery’s standards. Depending on the donor’s circumstances, an outright gift of art, if accepted, may entitle that donor to a current income tax deduction. The Portrait Gallery urges any donor considering a gift of art to consult with his or her tax adviser before making such a gift.

Promised Gifts

A donor who would like to give a work of art, but is not yet ready to part with it, may promise to give the work of art to the National Portrait Gallery at a future date. While the Board of Commissioners’ acceptance of a promised gift does not entitle the donor to a current income tax deduction, it provides the assurance that the Portrait Gallery will include the work in its collection whenever the donor chooses to give it. If the gift is made by bequest, this assurance enables the donor to develop an estate plan knowing that the value of the work will not be included in the taxable estate.

If you are interested in making a gift of art, please complete our online inquiry form, or contact our curatorial department at: (202) 633-8310 or