From Ben Carson to Ana Mendieta, See the Newest Faces Inducted Into the National Portrait Gallery
The Smithsonian museum has acquired 27 new portraits.
Designer Ralph Lauren, neurosurgeon-turned-politician Ben Carson, artist Ana Mendieta, director Spike Lee, and Francis Scott Key, who penned the lyrics for the “Star-Spangled Banner,” are all subjects in the latest crop of portraits to enter the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. The works will go on view November 17 as part of its annual “Recent Acquisitions” exhibition.
“We are always looking for subjects whose accomplishments are national and significant,” chief curator Brandon Fortune told artnet News. “So while our collection is comprised of portraits of nationally significant figures who have had an impact on our history and also the present day, we’re also looking for really fascinating works of art.”
One such portrait is Jerry Spagnoli’s daguerreotype diptych that captures the likeness of neurosurgeon and former Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson. The work separates Carson’s head and shoulders from the the second panel, which focuses on his hands. “We commissioned it to really honor his work in medicine,” said Fortune. “That’s how he came to the attention of the National Portrait Gallery before his entry into the political realm.”
The 27 new acquisitions will join the collection of more than 22,000 other portraits in all media. See more of the new acquisitions below.
“Recent Acquisitions” while be on view at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery from November 17, 2017, through November 4, 2018.
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