Last fall, the National Portrait Gallery unveiled a special wall in our galleries, called “Recognize,” as a place to highlight one important person in our collection as chosen by the Portrait Gallery’s friends and fans. This is a chance for the public to help us decide what will go on display, from a group of three portraits currently in storage. The candidate with the most votes will be featured on the “Recognize” wall, near the north entrance to our museum.
In the last round of “Recognize,” voters elected to display a portrait of George Carlin by Arthur Grace. Now it’s time to select a new candidate, and the National Portrait Gallery is ready for your vote!
Roberto Clemente (1934–1972) was born in Puerto Rico. He became a legend in Pittsburgh, where he played his entire 18-year major league baseball career. On September 30, 1972, Clemente made his 3,000th career hit, a double against Jon Matlack and the New York Mets. This was the last regular-season at-bat of Clemente’s life. He was a 12-time Gold Glove outfielder, a four-time National League batting champion, and a tireless humanitarian: “Any time you have the opportunity to make a difference in this world and you don't do it, you are wasting your time on this earth.” Roberto Clemente was killed in an airplane crash on December 31, 1972, while attempting to deliver relief supplies to earthquake victims in Managua, Nicaragua.
About the artist: A former semipro ballplayer and co-founder of the Pittsburgh Crawfords, photographer Charles “Teenie” Harris documented the city’s African American history and culture. Harris, the son of hotel owners, ran his own studio before deciding to focus on photojournalism. He worked for the Pittsburgh Courier for two decades.