Portraiture

Artist Simon Berger created the portrait by strategically hammering cracks into a pane of glass.

Kamala Harris Portrait Draws Inspiration From the Glass Ceiling She Shattered

Artist Simon Berger created the unconventional likeness of the vice president in just one day

The long-overlooked studio likely belonged to photographer J.E. Hale.

Cool Finds

Forgotten 20th-Century Photography Studio Found in New York Attic

The sealed-off space contained original portraits of suffragists Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Johannes Vermeer, Girl with a Pearl Earring, c. 1665

Art Meets Science

Ten-Billion-Pixel Image Shows Every Inch of Vermeer's 'Girl With a Pearl Earring'

A new tool from the Mauritshuis offers viewers a close-up look at every fine crack and brushstroke

Art historian Philip Mould identified this miniature, previously thought to be a likeness of Sir Walter Raleigh, as a portrait of Henry III of France.

Cool Finds

Petite Portrait of Henry III, King Who Challenged Sexual Norms in 16th-Century France, Discovered

Art dealer Philip Mould purchased the miniature "sight unseen" during lockdown. Now, he's offering it to the Louvre Museum in Paris

George Peter Alexander Healy, Abraham Lincoln, 1887. Oil on canvas. Dimensions: 188 × 137cm (74 × 53 15/16"). National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; transfer from the National Gallery of Art; gift of the A.W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust, 1942. This portrait is on view at the National Portrait Gallery, South Gallery 240.

Smithsonian Voices

A Scholar Takes a Deep Dive Into a Painted Homage to Abraham Lincoln

U.S. artist George Peter Alexander Healy’s presidential portraiture, conceived years after the sitter passed away

Every mark in Robert McCurdy’s portraits, above: Untitled (The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso), is meticulously rendered from the baby hairs that frame his subjects’ temples to the crow’s feet that border their eyes.

Why Robert McCurdy's Photo-Realist Portraits Stop Viewers in Their Tracks

The key to these singular portraits of influential leaders of our time rests in the gaze and the exacting details of the clothing

Installation view of Tate Britain's Lynette Yiadom-Boakye retrospective

Stunning Paintings of Fictitious Black Figures Subvert Traditional Portraiture

Riffing on the genre's long history, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye's innovative works raise questions about black identity and representation

A new exhibition "Every Eye Is Upon Me: First Ladies of the United States" is on view at the National Portrait Gallery; clockwise from top left: Mamie Eisenhower, Lady Bird Johnson, Grace Coolidge, Nancy Reagan, Dolley Madison, Abigail Fillmore, Frances Cleveland and Sarah Polk.

How History Records the Peculiar Role of America’s First Ladies

A new exhibition, "Every Eye is Upon Me," pays tribute to the ever-changing role of the women who hold this unelected office

Vanessa Bell, Self Portrait, c. 1952

Spotlighting 500 Years of Women in British Art, From Tudor Portraitists to the Bloomsbury Group

A new show at London's Philip Mould & Company features works by Levina Teerlinc, Vanessa Bell and Clara Birnberg

The Original Selfie Craze Was the Mirror

Today’s social media obsession has its roots in the development centuries ago of the reflective material

Cindy Sherman, Untitled 584, 2017-2018

Why Photographer Cindy Sherman Is Still the Queen of Reinvention

A retrospective at Fondation Louis Vuitton highlights the artist's manipulation of femininity and identity

Portraits from finalists of the 2019 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition.

Smithsonian Voices

Calling All Portrait Artists

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery is seeking submissions now through Jan. 29, 2021, to its triennial Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition

In an explosion of green and gold, Elaine de Kooning's portrayal of President John F. Kennedy holds pride of place at the National Portrait Gallery in its exhibition "America's Presidents."

Why Elaine de Kooning's Portrait of JFK Broke All the Rules

After the assassination, the grief-stricken artist painted the president’s image obsessively; finally saying she caught only "a glimpse" of him

U.S. Representative Deb Haaland offered to stand in for the missing and deceased.

Portrait Project Memorializes Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

A new exhibition available to view online features 94 photographs, as well as original artwork

Novelist and essayist Marilynne Robinson is one of 24 authors featured in "Her Story: A Century of Women Writers."

The Women Writers Who Shaped 20th-Century American Literature

A new show at the National Portrait Gallery spotlights 24 authors, including Lorraine Hansberry, Sandra Cisneros and Maxine Hong Kingston

“Armed with a fierce intelligence and a love of analytical reasoning, Ginsburg (by Everett Raymond Kinstler, 1996)  fought passionately for all Americans to have equal representation under the law and inspired women in particular, to believe in themselves to make positive change,” say Kim Sajet, director of the National Portrait Gallery.

Nation Mourns Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Who Broke Barriers and Became a Feminist Icon

The Supreme Court justice, who died at 87, "inspired women to believe in themselves," says the Smithsonian's Kim Sajet

After joining the Navy at age 17, Anthony D'Acquisto served aboard the U.S.S. Randolph, participating in the Battles of Okinawa and Iwo Jima.

See 12 Stunning Portraits of World War II Veterans

Photographer Zach Coco has spent the past five years documenting more than 100 men and women's stories

George IV commissioned architect John Nash to design Buckingham Palace's picture gallery as a home for his art collection.

Buckingham Palace's Art Collection to Be Exhibited in Public Gallery for First Time

The 65 works set to go on view include masterpieces by Rembrandt, Vermeer and Titian

Composite portraits of Augustus (left) and Maximinus Thrax (right)

Peer Into the Past With Photorealistic Portraits of Roman Emperors

Artist Daniel Voshart used machine learning and editing software to create likenesses of 54 ancient leaders

Raphael's famed Uffizi self-portrait and the new facial reconstruction

3-D Facial Reconstruction Suggests Raphael Self-Portrait Presents Idealized Version of the Artist

The new model reveals the Renaissance giant's prominent nose