Adult programs at the National Portrait Gallery provide opportunities to socialize and engage with art, history, and biography through a wide variety of virtual workshops, performances, webinars, and tours. 

All events and programs are held virtually, due to COVID-19. For a full list of the Portrait Gallery’s remote programs, explore the “Visit at Home” section of this website. The National Portrait Gallery remains temporarily closed at this time.

Docent in a yellow jacket giving a tour in the gallery

Virtual Group Tours

By reservation
Online via Zoom

Since we can’t get together in person, let’s meet up remotely! The National Portrait Gallery is now offering docent-led group tours for adults online. Tours on the following topics will be available by registration:

  • Highlights of the National Portrait Gallery Permanent Collection
  • America’s Presidents
  • Docent’s Choice of the National Portrait Gallery's Exhibitions and Collections
  • Every Eye Is Upon Me: First Ladies of the United States
  • Her Story: A Century of Women Writers
  • Thematic Docent's Choice Tours

Reservations must be made three weeks in advance of the desired tour date. To receive a tour request form, e-mail or click here to request online. All tours are subject to availability; last-minute cancellations may occur. 

hand with a pen writing

Virtual Writing Hour

Tuesdays, 5:00 p.m. EST
Online via Zoom

Join us weekly for a virtual writing hour. We've set up an online space where writers can create, connect, and draw inspiration from the Portrait Gallery's collection. We will provide writing prompts, and you are also welcome to bring your own writing project-in-progress. We will write for about 30 minutes and end each session with a brief discussion or reading.

Free—Register at

>> View past writing prompts from Virtual Writing Hour  

two hands--drawing a hand in charcoal


Drawn to Figures LIVE

Thursdays, 11:00 a.m.
Online via Zoom

Jan. 7: Scaling portraits down to miniature size
Jan. 21: Working in gouache and watercolor
Feb. 4: Drawing hands in action
Feb. 18: Creating portraits from photographs

Discover your inner artist in this live virtual drawing workshop. Facilitated by artist Jill Galloway, the workshop will include guided instruction on the techniques and challenges of figure drawing. Participants will be offered the chance to share their work at the end of the session. Each program will highlight a Portrait Gallery exhibition or portrait from the collection. Open to all skill levels, ages 18 and up. Required materials will be listed on the Eventbrite program page.

Free—Registration required

Special Programs

book Jacket for Rodham

Art AfterWords: A Book Discussion   

Tuesday, May 11, 5:30–7 p.m.
Online via Zoom    

The National Portrait Gallery and the DC Public Library would like to invite you to a virtual conversation about power, gender and collective memory. Join us as we analyze portraits from the exhibition “Every Eye Is Upon Me: First Ladies of the United States” and discuss the related book “Rodham” by Curtis Sittenfeld. 

Participants are encouraged to visit the exhibition before the event. DCPL cardholders can access “Rodham” here.

Asian American woman in a yellow dress with a fan behind her head

In Dialogue: Smithsonian Objects and Social Justice

Thursday, May 13, 5 p.m.
Online via Zoom

Heighten your civic awareness through conversations about art, history and material culture. Each month, educators from the National Portrait Gallery will partner with colleagues from across the Smithsonian to discuss how historical objects from their respective collections speak to today’s social justice issues. Why is it important to have agency in how we are portrayed?  Together with our co-hosts from the Freer and Sackler, Smithsonian's National Museum of Asian Art, we will explore this key question about representation in relationship to a 1937 photograph of actress Anna May Wong and an early 21st century photo-performance by Pushpamala N.

Free—Registration required