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Portraits from the National Portrait Gallery, Washington DC

3 October 2002 - 12 January 2003

All images: reserved, The National Portrait Gallery, Washington D.C.
Reproduced by permission


An exhibition organised by the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
Sponsored in London by JPMorgan

1. James T. Fields, 1869
2. Juliana Westray Wood, c. 1811
3. William Lloyd Garrison, l883
4. George Gershwin, 1936
5. William T. Sherman, 1866
6. Willard Huntington Wright (S. S. Van Dine), 1913-4
7. Rubens Peale, 1807
8. Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, c.1773
9. George Washington Carver, 1942
10. H. H. Richardson, 1886
11. Sequoyah, c.1830
12. Eisa Maxwell, 1959
13. Abraham Lincoln, 1865
14. Mary Cassatt, c.1880-4
15. Bayard Taylor, 1855
16. Lena Horne, 1947
17. James McNeill Whistler, 1870
18. Louis Armstrong, c.1956
19. George Washington, 1796
20. Tallulah Bankhead, 1930
21. Frederick Douglass, c.1844
22. Thomas Hart Benton with his wife, Rita, 1922
23. Edith Wharton, 1870
24. George Armstrong Custer, c.1860
25. Frank Hamilton Cushing, Laiyuahatsailunkya, Najyutchi, Palowahtiwa, Kiasiwa and Nanake,1882
26. Benjamin Franklin, c.1785
27. Julius Robert Oppenheimer, 1946
28. Davy Crockett, 1834
29. John C. Calhoun, c. 1845
30.The Wild Bunch,1900
31. Gulian Verplanck, 1857
32. Marianne Moore and her mother, 1925
33. Henry Cabot Lodge, 1890
34. Charles Willson Pede, c.1791
35. Juliette Gordon Low, 1887
36. Paul Wayland Bartlett, c.1890
37. Martha Graham, c. 1940
38. Edward Weston, 1925
39. Bessie Smith, 1936
40. Lee Simonson, c.1912
41. Orestes Brownson, 1863
42. Samuel Ringgold, c. 1825
43. Henry James, 1908

News from the National Portrait Gallery in London

A celebration of Americans and American history through portraits from the painting and photographic collections of our sister institution, the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC. Artists, such as John Singleton Copley, James Whistler, Mary Cassatt and Alice Neel; and writers, such as Edith Wharton, Mark Twain, Henry James, TS Eliot and John Updike will be represented alongside other notable Americans such as Benjamin Franklin, Sequoyah, Davy Crockett, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry Cabot Lodge, Edward Weston, Tallulah Bankhead, George Gershwin and Lena Horne.


National Portrait Gallery opening hours
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday: 10am- 6pm (Gallery closure commences at 5.50pm)
Late Opening: Thursday, Friday: 10am - 9pm (Gallery closure commences at 8.50pm)
Recorded information: 020 7312 2463 information: 020 7306 0055

For further press information please contact:
Hazel Sutherland, 
Press Office, 
National Portrait Gallery

Focussing on the lives of more than 150 men and women who have shaped American history, this exhibition is drawn from the collections of our sister institution, the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. It represents a rich selection of American heroes, writers, statesmen, inventors, educators, musicians, artists and scientists. The National Portrait Gallery, London is the only European venue for this outstanding exhibition.

Curated by NPG Washington's Dr Carolyn Kinder Carr, Deputy Director and Chief Curator, and Dr Ellen G. Miles, Curator of Painting and Sculpture, Americans brings together 70 paintings and 60 photographic images with sitters ranging from Benjamin Franklin and Henry James, to Marilyn Monroe and Michael Jackson. Together, these portraits comprise an unparalleled overview of the contribution that individuals have made to American politics, society and culture.

Dating from the 1720s to the 1990s, the images vary in style and technique, from the sophisticated paintings of John Singer Sargent and the photographs of Richard Avedon, to work by self-taught artists such as Thomas Badger and William Elwell. Some portraits include details that tell us about the sitter's accomplishments at first glance, whilst others benefit from insights offered in contemporary descriptions and four mini-documentary films produced and provided by The Biography Channel as part of their interactive support of the exhibition.

The exhibition will be divided into sections - Independence, New Americans, Freedom, A Social World, Americans Abroad, Men of Letters and 2Oth Century Performing Arts.

Artists, such as John Singleton Copley, James McNeill Whistler, Mary Cassatt and Alice Neel, and writers, including Edith Wharton, Mark Twain and John Updike, are represented alongside other notable Americans such as Sequoyah, Davy Crockett, Tallulah Bankhead, George Gershwin and Lena Horne. An exceptional selection of photographs, only included in the London showing of the exhibition, represents, amongst others, legendary American entertainers including Ingrid Bergman, Spencer Tracy, Lucille Ball, Leonard Bemstein, Audrey Hepburn, Louis Armstrong and Bill Cosby.

The portrait tradition in the United States of America is richly textured, like the multi-faceted historical narrative it reflects. The paintings and photographs in this exhibition suggest the diverse range of individuals who have shaped the American experience, and introduce the stylistic variety characteristic of portraits of Americans.

Commenting on their sponsorship, JPMorgan's Investment Bank Chairman, Walter Gubert said: "JPMorgan has a long history of support for the arts, through the personal collection of John Pierpont Morgan, and the JPMorgan Chase Art Collection, initiated by David Rockefeller. JPMorgan is pleased to extend its support for the arts by helping to bring the Americans exhibition to London".

A fully-illustrated catalogue will be published in October 2002 with a preface by John Updike and an introductory essay by Dr Carolyn Kinder Carr. 288 pages with over 140 illustrations. Price 12.95 (paperback). Additionally, a large-format catalogue of the paintings in the exhibition will be available. 216 pages with over 80 illustrations. Price 30 (paperback).

Read a review of this by City of Liverpool College's Barbara Marshall.


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City of Liverpool College, Liverpool John Moores University and the Contributors, 2002
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