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Exhibition Programs & Resources

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Americans Now
Grades 4–12
Aug. 20, 2010, through July 10, 2011

Toni Morrison “Americans Now,” drawn from the Portrait Gallery’s permanent collection, features individuals prominent in sports, entertainment and other fields of endeavor during the last 10 years.



 Online exhibition

 “Americans Now”: Self-Portrait Remix

 “Americans Now”: Sitters at Work

 “Americans Now”: You be the Critic

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Reflections/Refractions
Self-Portraiture in the Twentieth Century

Grades 4–12

April 10 through August 16, 2009

Reflections/Refractions This exhibition of approximately 75 works will probe the complex issues of understanding identity in the past century. Both lesson plans, developed by Portrait Gallery staff, examine how artists have chosen to represent themselves through self-portraiture


 Online exhibition

 Lesson Plan 1: Creating in the Style of...

 Lesson Plan 2: Self-Portrait Poetry

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Presidents in Waiting
Grades 4–12

January 20, 2009–January 3, 2010

Teddy Roosevelt John Adams viewed the office of the vice president as the "most insignificant office" ever invented by man. In fact, fourteen vice presidents have succeeded to the presidency. Students will discover how these men stepped into the presidential role and helped shape history.

 Online exhibition

Study Guides:

 The Death of Harrison

 Is It Only a Shadow?: The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt

 Lyndon Johnson’s Legacy


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Eye Contact
Modern American Portrait Drawings
from the National Portrait Gallery

This exhibition celebrates fifty masterpieces on paper highlighting famed Americans of the past century by legendary artists. Recognizable subjects are coupled with the appeal of popular mediums such as watercolors, pen and ink, crayon, charcoal, and pastel.



Online exhibition
Teacher's Guide

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George Washington: A National Treasure

The Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery, celebrates our nation's first president--the man, the icon, the hero. As Gilbert Stuart's original portrait of George Washington travels across the country for the first time, Americans of all ages will be able to experience the most important visual document of our nation's founding. This interactive web site allows you to explore the enduring legacy of George Washington. Washington changed the world. Find out how.

Online exhibition
The Patriot Papers
Teacher's Guide
Family Guide


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A Brush with History
Paintings from the National Portrait Gallery

The portrait tradition in the United States is richly textured, like the multifaceted historical narrative it reflects. The paintings in this exhibition suggest the range of individuals who have shaped the American experience since the nation was founded and introduce the stylistic variety of American portraiture

Online exhibition
The Great History Mystery (FLASH plug-in required)
Teacher Resource Guide (Online)
Teacher Resource Guide (PDF)


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Portraits of the Presidents from the National Portrait Gallery

Since the Portrait Gallery opened in 1968, its most enduring popular attraction has been the Hall of Presidents, where formal painted and sculpted portraits of every chief executive have been on view. This powerful group of images reminds visitors that the presidency stands at the center of the nation's public life.


Online exhibition
Teacher's Guide (PDF)


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Picturing Hemingway: A Writer in His Time

Ernest Hemingway has been called the single most influential American writer of the twentieth century and in his own day he achieved an unmatched literary and popular celebrity. This online exhibition marked the one-hundredth anniversary of his birth with photographs, paintings, letters, first editions, manuscripts, and personal memorabilia. Also included are Hemingway's contemporaries, such as Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, John Dos Passos, and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Online exhibition
Teacher's Guide (Online)
Teacher's Guide (PDF)


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A Durable Memento
Portraits by Augustus Washington, African American Daguerreotypist

Augustus Washington (1820/21-1875) is one of only a handful of African American daguerreotypists whose work has been identified and collected, and whose career has been documented. The exhibition presents thirty-two daguerreotypes from Washington's career as the proprietor of one of the first daguerrean studios in Hartford, Connecticut, and his early years in Liberia after he immigrated there in 1853

Online exhibition
Teacher's Guide (Online)
Teacher's Guide (PDF)


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Tête à Tête
Portraits by Henri Cartier-Bresson

Best known as the photographer who first captured the "decisive moment" on film in the 1930s, Henri Cartier-Bresson has been making portraits throughout his career as an artist and photojournalist. In 1997, on the eve of his ninetieth birthday, Cartier-Bresson surveyed work made over five decades to create this exhibition. Included are portraits of such notable Americans as Truman Capote, William Faulkner, Susan Sontag, and Martin Luther King Jr., and internationally known figures such as Che Guevara and Pablo Picasso.

Online exhibition
Teacher's Guide (Online)
Teacher Guide (PDF)


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Phone: (202) 633-8500
FAX: (202) 633-8521
E-mail: NPGEducation@si.edu
Mailing Address:
Office of Education
National Portrait Gallery
P.O. Box 37012
Washington, D.C. 20013-0712


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