Portraiture

In its second installment, “AeroEspacial” tells the story of the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, which housed the world’s largest radio telescope for over 50 years.

An In-Depth Look at Latino History Among the Stars and Skies

This summer, a podcast series from the National Air and Space Museum discusses Operation Pedro Pan, Latino Futurism and “Star Wars”

Researchers uncovered this image of a woman under The Fifth Season (1943) using infrared reflectography.

A Mysterious Portrait Was Discovered Beneath a René Magritte Painting

Researchers found the image using infrared reflectography, and they think it may depict the artist's wife, Georgette

Tony Bennett painting in June 1971

Tony Bennett's Passion for Art Lives On in His Paintings

Smithsonian curators reflect on the beloved crooner's legacy as a musician and visual artist

Bisa Butler selects fabrics that symbolically honor and protect her subjects.

The Genius Behind Bisa Butler's Vibrant Quilts

The renowned artist's exuberant portraits celebrate Black history and take the form to a new level

Jan Willemsz van der Pluym and his wife Jaapgen Carels, as painted by Rembrandt in 1635

Auctioneer Unearths 'Exceptionally Rare' Rembrandt Portraits Lost Since 1824

The two small paintings depict a husband and wife who were personally close to the Dutch master

Gambarin's nearly 270,000-square-foot artwork, outlined with a tractor, is now considered the largest portrait of Picasso ever made. 

Italian Artist Uses Tractor to Create World's Largest Picasso Portrait

Land artist Dario Gambarin used a 270,000-square-foot field in Verona, Italy, as a canvas

Tens of thousands of people in the United States may be connected to this album, which museum officials say offers an "unprecedented opportunity for people of mixed heritage, especially, to access never-before-seen ancestral portraits."

Find Out If Your Ancestor Is Among These 19th-Century Silhouettes in This Newly Digitized Collection

The itinerant artist William Bache’s portraits are contaminated by arsenic, but now the National Portrait Gallery offers easy access

David Hockney's Dog Painting 19 (1995)

See How History's Great Artists Painted Their Dogs

A new exhibition showcases portraits of pets by the likes of Leonardo da Vinci and David Hockney

Claude Monet's 1874 portrait of his brother Léon

Claude Monet's Older Brother Helped Shape the Impressionist Movement

A new exhibition explores the legacy of Léon Monet, who taught Claude about color and purchased his art

Edward Brooke-Hitching's The Madman Gallery spotlights such artworks as John Singer Sargent's Portrait of Madame X, a statue of Glycon and Franz Xaver Messerschmidt's Character Heads.

The Most Enigmatic Works in Art History

A new book highlights 100 artistic curiosities, from the nude "Mona Lisa" to portraits of a dog-headed saint

Miriam Wosk's illustration of a blue-skinned, eight-armed multitasking woman adorned the first cover of Ms. magazine. "Making her blue was a way of making her universal," says Gloria Steinem in this month's "Portraits" podcast.

Explore the Founding of 'Ms.' Magazine and the Making of a Space Telescope Photograph in This Month’s Featured Podcasts

“AirSpace” speaks to astronomer Shauna Edson and “Portraits” drops in on activist and author Gloria Steinhem

Portrait of a Woman, painted by Italian Renaissance master Giovanni Battista Moroni, is joining the Frick’s permanent collection.

The Frick Adds Its First Renaissance Portrait of a Woman to Permanent Collection

The stunning 16th-century painting by Giovanni Battista Moroni is now on display

At the Natural History Museum, "Cellphone: Unseen Connections" opens June 23; at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City, "Give Me a Sign: The Language of Symbols" goes on view May 13; and "Ay-Ō's Happy Rainbow Hell" is part of the National Museum of Asian Art's centennial exhibitions, opening March 25.

Twenty-Three Smithsonian Shows to See in 2023

A rare Bible, George Clinton's colorful wig, Disney World history and Japanese ghosts debut this year

This year's list includes Bird Planet, Floridas, I Just Wanna Surf and more.

The Ten Best Photography Books of 2022

Our favorite titles this year invite viewers to worlds outside their own

Rhea L. Combs (left) and Ava DuVernay (right) share a laugh in front of DuVernay’s portrait during the National Portrait Gallery's 2022 Portrait of a Nation Gala on Saturday, November 12, 2022.

See Stunning Portraits of Ava DuVernay, José Andrés and the Williams Sisters

The National Portrait Gallery's 2022 Portrait of a Nation Award honors seven changemakers, from Anthony Fauci to Clive Davis

From Henry VII’s usurpation of the throne in 1485 to the death of Elizabeth in 1603, Tudor monarchs relied on paintings, sculptures, tapestries and other art forms to legitimize their nascent dynasty.

Why Art Was Such a Powerful Tool for England's Tudor Monarchs

An exhibition at the Met features 100-plus paintings, sculptures, decorative works and objects that testify to the splendor of 16th-century English court

This month, Portraits, a podcast from the National Portrait Gallery, revisits "Finding Cleopatra," a Sidedoor episode with host Lizzie Peabody exploring the life of the artist Edmonia Lewis (above: a photographic portrait by Henry Rocher, c. 1890).

Cleopatra’s Iconoclastic Sculptor Was Her Own Kind of Queen

Smithsonian podcasts delve into the life of Edmonia Lewis, how astronauts sleep, the evolution of the human brain; and drop in on painter Kay WalkingStick

Barack and Michelle Obama at the unveiling ceremony on September 7

Who Are the Artists Behind the New Obama Portraits?

Robert McCurdy and Sharon Sprung add their unique pieces to the White House's collection

In “Postage Pairings,” from the National Portrait Gallery, host Kim Sajet speaks with the Smithsonian's Daniel Piazza, curator of philately, about postage stamps (left: 29c single, july 30, 1993) reproduced from portraits (right: Benjamin Franklin by Joseph Siffred Duplessis, c. 1785).

The Revolutionary Role Mail Played in America’s Fight for Independence

Hear about the colonial period postal service in the latest "Portraits" podcast

Many of this year’s 42 finalists (above: Customer Service Representative by Marianna Olague, 2020) delve into the American psyche, depicting life during the Covid era.

These Are the New Faces of American Portraiture

In its 16th year, the Outwin Portrait Competition reflects the stunning vision of contemporary portrait-based art

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