Monday, September 04, 2017

Hispanic Heritage Month at the National Portrait Gallery

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery recognizes Hispanic Heritage Month with programs and events highlighting the Hispanic artists and subjects who are represented in the museum’s collection. With the goal of opening a dialogue about these individuals’ remarkable contributions to American history, this bilingual celebration will offer insight into the ways in which Latino cultures, traditions and stories have helped shape this country’s history.

The month-long series of events includes a special Family Day hosted at the museum Sept. 30. Featuring live music, curator talks and art activities, Family Day welcomes visitors of all ages. Participants will have the opportunity to join Taína Caragol for a special Spanish-language tour of “The Face of Battle: Americans at War, 9/11 to Now.” Caragol, a co-curator of the special exhibition, is the museum’s Curator of Painting and Sculpture and Latino Art and History.

As part of the museum’s initiative to become fully bilingual (English and Spanish) by 2018, the Portrait Gallery currently has five dual-language exhibitions. When the museum’s “must see” exhibition, “America’s Presidents,” reopens to the public Sept. 22 after extensive renovations, the new exhibition will be entirely bilingual and accessible. A highlight of the Portrait Gallery since the museum’s public opening in 1968, this historic display on the museum’s second floor is the only place outside the White House where visitors can view a complete collection of presidential portraits. “America’s Presidents” includes extraordinary works of art, most notably Gilbert Stuart’s “Lansdowne” portrait of President George Washington, which will be back on view after 18 months of careful conservation and analysis.

In addition to the special events in the Portrait Gallery, from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, the museum will have on view 26 portraits by Latino artists or of Latino sitters, including Rudolfo Anaya, Teresa Carreño, Marisol Escobar, Frida Kahlo, Pedro Martínez, Antonia Pantoja, Chita Rivera, Geraldo Rivera, Clemente Soto Vélez, Antonio Martorell and Piri Thomas.