Presidents Day


Presidents’ Day at the National Portrait Gallery

Make your way to the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery to mark President George Washington’s birthday and recognize each of this nation’s executive leaders with programs, events and activities for any age.

Portraits of Power: American Presidents in the National Portrait Gallery
Tuesday, Feb. 11, 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m.
Nan Tucker McEvoy Auditorium
The Portrait Gallery’s chief curator Brandon Fortune leads a discussion of some of the most important portraits of our presidents, providing details about the artists who created them and how the works came into the national collections. Jointly presented with The Smithsonian Associates. Tickets required: www.smithsonianassociates.org code: 1L0-024; members $20; non-members $25.


Presidents’ Family Day
Saturday, Feb. 15, 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard

Start off your Presidents’ Day weekend with a patriotic Family Day at the National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Museum. Meet the Washington Nationals Racing Presidents in the museums’ courtyard. Dress up for your own presidential portrait and try your hand at creating a frame for your official image; design your own presidential china pattern; build with Lincoln Logs, and stick around to meet George Washington and Abraham Lincoln and tour “America’s Presidents,” the Portrait Gallery’s most popular exhibition. Don’t miss your chance to try on Google Glass with David Datuna’s Portrait of America, from his “Viewpoint of Billions” series. Portrait of America is a 12-foot mixed-media American flag that utilizes Google Glass, allowing visitors to interact with at the artwork and actually become part of it.


Special Installation: Viewpoint of Billions, Portrait of America with GoogleGlass
Saturday, Feb. 15 through Feb. 17, 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Third floor, Great Hall

Portrait of America, from David Datuna’s “Viewpoint of Billions” series, is a 12-foot multi-media Google Glass activated American flag covered in hundreds of eyeglass lenses. Visitors can to try on Google Glass, and through a veil of optics explore historical and contemporary figures from American culture embedded in the artwork. Images, and the viewer’s own voice, trigger videos and interactive experiences that can be seen through the viewfinder of Glass. Guests can have their portraits taken wearing Glass, and the see-you see-me outcomes will be archived by the art then sent out via social media. This work will be on view on the third floor of the Portrait Gallery and available for viewing Feb. 15 through 17 during museum hours.


Portrait Story Days: Abraham Lincoln
Sunday, Feb. 16, 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
First floor, education center, room E151

Young visitors and their families may drop in to listen to a story about Abraham Lincoln. Participants will also complete a hands-on activity inspired by Lincoln and his portrait.
This program is sponsored in part by the Reinsch Family Education Endowment.


America’s Presidents
Daily, 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

This exhibition lies at the very heart of the Portrait Gallery’s mission to tell the American story through individuals who have shaped the country. “America’s Presidents” showcases an enhanced and extended display of multiple images of the past 43 presidents of the United States, starting with Gilbert Stuart’s “Lansdowne” portrait of George Washington and continuing to George W. Bush. Five presidents are given expanded attention because of their significant impact on the office: George Washington, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin D. Roosevelt.