National Portrait Gallery

Experience portraiture beyond the frame. Our collections present people of remarkable character and achievement. These Americans—artists, politicians, scientists, inventors, activists, and performers—form our national identity. They help us understand who we are and remind us of what we can aspire to be. Get to know us at the National Portrait Gallery. We look forward to sharing the faces and stories of inspiring Americans with you.

How can you collaborate with us?

marian anderson, an african american woman, in a fur coatThe Portrait Gallery has a variety of resources for the classroom that have been developed to complement our exhibitions. View and print our online materials or download them as PDF files. Visit our online collections to search, browse, and augment your lesson plans.

Download “learning to look” portrait highlights like this one of Marian Anderson.

portrait of frederick douglasThe National Portrait Gallery collections bring you face to face with America. Get to know us better. Browse portraits, like this one of Frederick Douglas, search, explore, and visit.

The Portrait Gallery Podcast: PORTRAITS: Join director Kim Sajet as she chats with curators, historians, and thought leaders about their favorite portraits, and reveals the real people behind the art.

PORTAL = Portraiture + Analysis, the National Portrait Gallery’s Scholarly Center, promotes the study of American portraiture and visual biography.

Art-Making Workshops:

    • Open Studio: Work with a different art material each Friday morning with artist Jill Galloway!
    • Drawn to Figures: These drawing workshops led by artist Jill Galloway is ideal for ages 18+ at all skill levels.

Introducing:  In a new kind of story time, see the portraits and hear the stories of important figures while learning new vocabulary.

man and child paintingExplore portraits of astronauts and activists, scientists and star athletes—and discover the stories behind them. Dig deep with some discussion questions and then get moving with fun activities on the day’s topic. For children ages 3 and up and their families. Download these Young Portrait Explorers Activity Guides below.

Enjoy ASL tours of exhibitions including One Life: Marian AndersonPortraits of the World: Switzerland and The Outwin 2019: American Portraiture Today.

Enjoy online adaptations of National Portrait Gallery exhibitions and collection highlights through our collaboration with Google Arts & Culture, including several exhibitions timed with Women’s History Month. In addition, over 3,800 works of art from the museum’s permanent collection can be viewed on the site.

Contact Me!

Irina Rubenstein
Education Specialist

Portrait Gallery on Smithsonian Learning Lab

Experience portraiture beyond the frame with the Portrait Gallery Learning Lab page. Use these collections to enhance your curriculum, learn about inspiring individuals, or explore family friendly activities and lesson plans.