The National Portrait Gallery announces its first commissioned portrait of an American Latino and showcases new works that have been added to the museum’s collection.
The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery has recently added new portraits of prominent Latino figures and artists to its permanent collection. The museum also undertook its first Latino commission: a portrait by El Paso artist Gaspar Enríquez of New Mexican writer Rudolfo Anaya, author of Bless Me, Ultima. It will be installed in November 2016.
Other significant acquisitions for the Portrait Gallery include the remastered 1974 film Mirage by the late Cuban American artist Ana Mendieta; the iconic photograph “¡Yo soy de Cuba la voz, Guantanamera!” by Cuban American photographer Alexis Rodríguez-Duarte, in collaboration with stylist Tico Torres; and a portfolio of 18 photographs from Rodríguez-Duarte’s and Torres’ series “Cuba out of Cuba.” The portfolio features key Cuban American personalities, including musicians Gloria and Emilio Estefan, journalist Cristina Saralegui, fashion designers Isabel Toledo and Narciso Rodríguez and playwright Nilo Cruz.
Other newly acquired works depict U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera, historian Rudolfo Acuña, guitarist Louie Pérez and visual artist Rupert García by Harry Gamboa Jr. from his “Chicano Male Unbonded” series, Grammy Award-winning accordionist Flaco Jiménez by Al Rendón and portraits of Nuyorican writers Piri Thomas and Tato Laviera by Máximo Colón.
These acquisitions and the commission were made possible through federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center.
In addition, the Portrait Gallery is hosting events to coincide with Hispanic Heritage Month. From Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, the museum will have on view 24 portraits of Latino artists and sitters, including Rubén Blades, Pedro Martínez, Rita Moreno, Nicholasa Mohr, John Santos and many more, as well as a portrait of Juan Nepomuceno Seguín, hero of the Texas revolution, by Thomas Jefferson Wright, which is on loan from the Texas State Capitol.
National Portrait Gallery Hispanic Heritage Month Programs
Portrait Story Days
Saturdays, 1–4 p.m.
Sundays, 2–5 p.m.
Sept. 24 and 25: Dolores Huerta
Oct. 1 and 2: Pedro Martínez
Oct 8 and 9: Sonia Sotomayor
Oct. 16: César Chávez
Visitors can listen to a story and create art inspired by people in the museum’s collection. In partnership with Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, DC Public Library
Young Portrait Explorers: Sonia Sotomayor
Monday, Oct. 3; 10:30–11:30 a.m.
G Street lobby
Kids can explore the Portrait Gallery in a program that touches on art and history through storytelling. For toddlers up to age five and their adult companions. Registration required; visit npg.si.edu.
Thursdays at Noon: Slow Looking
Thursday, Oct. 6
Visitors can sketch and discuss Nelson Shanks’ portrait, “The Four Justices,” with a Portrait Gallery educator. Materials provided.
Hispanic Heritage Month Family Day
Saturday, Oct. 15; 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Visitors can create art, listen to music and dance in celebration of Hispanic heritage in America.
Thursdays at Noon: Portrait Conversations
Thursday, Oct. 20
Visitors can learn about the portrait of Juan Nepomuceno Seguín, hero of the Texas revolution, by artist Thomas Jefferson Wright, with Taína Caragol, the museum’s curator of Latino art and history.
National Portrait Gallery