The National Portrait Gallery, in recognition of the reemergence of portraiture and as part of its increasing engagement with contemporary portraiture, began its inaugural Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition in the summer of 2005. The resulting 50-60 painted and sculpted finalist portraits will comprise the lead exhibition for the Gallerys July 2006 reopening.
The grand prize of $25,000 will include a commission to create a portrait of a prominent living American for the Gallerys permanent collection. Other cash prizes will be awarded for selected works. The winners commission will launch another new direction for the Galleryto acquire through commission innovative likenesses of remarkable living Americans by todays artists.
Future competitions, to be held triennially, will explore other forms of portraiture, including watercolor, drawing, photography, film, video, and electronic and digital media.
Paintings must be two-dimensional works on supports. This includes, but is not limited to, the media of oil, tempera, or acrylic, with supports of canvas, board, or metal. Paintings should be framed (strip frames are acceptable) and preferably be unglazed. They should not measure more than 7 feet by 7 feet by 8 inches (including frame), nor should they weigh more than 150 pounds. The National Portrait Gallery will provide attachment hardware for paintings selected for exhibition.
Sculptures may be freestanding or wall-mounted and may be composed of any sculptural medium. This includes, but is not limited to, stone, metal, fiber, clay, wood, or resin. Sculptures should not exceed 7 feet (height) by 7 feet by 4 feet in size, nor should they weigh more than 150 pounds. The National Portrait Gallery will provide platforms, pedestals, or attachment hardware for sculpture selected for exhibition.