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School and Teacher Programs / Classroom Resources

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Online exhibitions and lesson plans:

Americans Now
Grades 4–12

August 20, 2010 to July 10, 2011

Americans Now ”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

Lesson plans:

 Americans Now: Sitters at Work

 Americans Now: Self-Portrait Remix

 Americans Now: You be the Critic


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The Struggle for Justice
Grades 7–12

Permanent exhibition opened February 12, 2010
Second Floor

Struggle for Justice "The Struggle for Justice” showcases major cultural and political figures—from key 19th-century historical figures to contemporary leaders—who struggled to achieve civil rights for disenfranchised or marginalized groups.

 Online exhibition

 Lesson plan

  Worksheet (to be used with the lesson plan)



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Portraiture Now: Communities
Grades 4–12

November 6 through July 5, 2010

Communities How do we define community today? Each of the three painters selected for “Portraiture Now: Communities” has explored this question through a series of related portraits of friends, townspeople, or families.

 Online exhibition

 Lesson plan: Portraiture Now: Communities

 Personal meaning map
     (to be used with the Lesson plan)




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The Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition, 2009
Grades 4–12

October 23, 2009 through August 22, 2010

Portrait competition For this exhibition, the second in an ongoing series, the National Portrait Gallery held an open competition, asking artists throughout the United States to submit likenesses of people close to them.


 Online exhibition

  Lesson plans: Presenting Portraiture


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Faces of the Frontier
Photographic Portraits from the American West, 1845-1924


Grades 4–12

September 25, 2009 through January 24, 2010

Faces of the Frontier The American West was dramatically reconstituted during the 80 years between the Mexican War and the passage of the Indian Citizenship Act in 1924. This exhibition tells the story of these changes through 100 portrait photographs of the defining men and women of this period.

 Online exhibition

 Lesson plan 1: Faces of the Frontier

 Lesson plan 2: Make Your Own Sterograph


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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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Inventing Marcel Duchamp:
The Dynamics of Portraiture

March 27 through August 2, 2009

Marcel Duchamp This groundbreaking exhibition cast new light upon Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968), one of the most influential artists of the recent past.

 Online exhibition

 Lesson plan 1:
Duchamp, Dada and World War I

 Lesson plan 2:
Marcel Duchamp" Found Portraiture"



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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

 Lesson plan 1: The Death of Harrison

 Lesson plan 2: Is It Only a Shadow?: The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt

 Lesson plan 3: Lyndon Johnson’s Legacy

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Ballyhoo!
Posters as Portraiture

Grades 5–12

Featuring sixty posters ranging in date from the late 19th century to the present, this exhibition demonstrates how posters function as portraiture.

Online exhibition

  Lesson plan



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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. 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

Teacher resource guide


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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


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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. This online exhibition marked the one-hundredth anniversary of his birth with photographs, paintings, letters, first editions, manuscripts, and personal memorabilia.

Online exhibition

Teacher's Guide


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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.

Online exhibition

Teacher's Guide


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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 made 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.

Online exhibition

Teacher Guide


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