February 2002 through February 2003 B&O Railroad Museum, Baltimore, MD
Opened in 1968, the National Portrait Gallery is dedicated to collecting and exhibiting the portraits of men and women who "have made significant contributions to the history, development, and culture . . . of the United States." In nineteenth-century America, no group of people filled that definition more fully than the individuals involved in creating the nation's railroad system, which did so much to revolutionize its way of life. On the occasion of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad's sesquicentennial, the Gallery is pleased to share with the B&O Museum this selection of likenesses depicting some of those individuals.
The National Portrait Gallery is located in the Old Patent Office Building, built on a site that had been designated for a pantheon to honor the nation's immortals in Pierre-Charles L'Enfant's original plan for Washington. This Greek Revival building, which was begun in 1836, is now undergoing a complete renovation. While it is closed, the Portrait Gallery is sharing some of its treasures with new audiences across the country through exhibitions such this one.