The National Portrait Gallery

Alexander Calder. 'Frank Crowninshield.' Wire. 1928
Alexander Calder. 'Frank Crowninshield.' Wire. 1928

Calder’s Portraits: A New Language
March 11-August 14, 2011

Most people recognize Calder (1898-1976) for his grandly ambitious, larger-than-life mobiles, like the one hanging in the main plaza of the NGA’s East Wing, or the “Calder Room” in the same building. What many people don’t know is that Calder was also a prolific portrait artist. Throughout his career Calder portrayed entertainment, sports, and art-world figures, including Josephine Baker, Babe Ruth, and Charles Lindbergh to name a few. Calder worked largely in wire, which he shaped into three-dimensional portraits of considerable character and nuance. Suspended from the wall or ceiling, the portraits are free to move. The movement gives the subjects a life of their own.


Capital Portraits: Treasures from Washington Private Collections
April 8 - September 5, 2011

This exhibition presents portraits that reside in private Washington, DC collections. Many of the works have never been on public display before and the exhibition reveals a remarkable range of styles, images and perhaps most importantly, stories. Works included are by major artists such as John Singleton Copley, Mary Cassatt, and Andy Warhol.


150th Commemoration of the Civil War: The Death of Ellsworth
April 29, 2011 - March 18, 2012

On the site of a former Union hospital, the National Portrait Gallery will mark the 150th anniversary of the Civil War through a series of four alcove exhibitions—one each year—commemorating this period of American history. The first of these exhibitions recounts the death of Colonel Elmer E. Ellsworth in Alexandria, VA. Ellsworth was a friend of Abraham Lincoln and the first Union officer to be killed in the war.


One Life: Ronald Reagan
July 1, 2011 - May 28, 2012

If you have seen the One Life: Katherine Graham, you don’t need to be told that this is bound to be a small gem of a pictorial biography, with both historical, social and emotional power for anyone who ever cared about Reagan, one way or the other.

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