Remarkable Americans: New Works on View at National Portrait Gallery

WASHINGTON, DC—The National Portrait Gallery prominently exhibits new acquisitions in a corridor adjacent to its main lobby. A selection of the most recent new portraits includes paintings, drawings and photographs of Americans who have made their mark in a range of fields, among them: Harlem-born General Colin L. Powell, the former national security adviser, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and secretary of state—the first black person to serve in all three posts; scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr., a professor at Harvard University where he is director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African-American Research; and Carl Van Vechten, a photographer and pivotal patron of black arts during the Harlem Renaissance. An accomplished rapper, an artist/activist, a rock and roll legend and Muhammad Ali, are included in the group, too.

All photos © Arts Observer

“Carl Van Vechten,” 1964 (pencil and ink wash on paper) by Don Bachardy.

“Muhammad Ali,” 1977 (gelatin silver print) by Michael Brennan.

Installation view of “Henry Louis Gates Jr.,” 2011 (oil on canvas) by Yuqi Wang.

Detail of “Henry Louis Gates Jr.”

“Eminem (Marshall Mathers III),” 2003 (etching with aquatint) by Elizabeth Peyton.

“Chuck Berry,” 1978 (screenprint with collage)by Red Grooms.

“Keith Haring,” 1989, printed in 1999 (gelatin silver print) by Wouter Deruytter. Haring (1958-1990) is photographed before his “Unfinished Painting,” 1989.

Installation view of “Colin L. Powell,” 2012 (oil on canvas) Donald N. Sherr.”

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