Ajax loader
National Portrait Gallery

The National Portrait Gallery, a division of the Smithsonian Institution, was establishes by Congress in 1962 "to record the men and women who have made significant contributions to the history of the United States, and of the artists who created such portraiture and statuary."

Its collection contains over 14,000 objects in various media including painting, sculpture, photography, and graphic arts. Galleries are devoted to the Revolutionary War period, to portraits of statesmen and politicians, Native Americans, ethnic groups, personalities from the visual and performing arts, science, business, education, and exploration.

Among the museum's holdings is a comprehensive collection of Civil War portraits of over 4,500 glass-plate negatives from Mathew Brady's studios. Another important aspect is a series of portraits of American presidents which include the likenesses of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, F.D.R., and Ronald Reagan. Also included are portraits of important African-Americans, such as the civil rights leader W.E.B. DuBois and the singer Paul Robeson. Native American portraits include those of Pocahontas and Chief Joseph.

The images are indexed both by the sitter's name as well as by artist, medium, and period.


Alexander Gardner, 1821-1882.
Photograph, albumen silver print.
Abraham Lincoln, 1809-1865. Sixteenth President of the United States.
National Portrait Gallery, Washington DC, U.S.A
National Portrait Gallery, Washington DC/Art Resource, NY