Gallery Openings and Events Workshops and Classes

December 2019–February 2020 Schedule at the National Portrait Gallery

Smithsonian American Art Museum / National Portrait Gallery. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

All events are held at the National Portrait Gallery, located at Eighth and F streets N.W., Washington, D.C., and are free unless otherwise noted. For the most current information, visit npg.si.edu. The National Portrait Gallery is open every day from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., except Dec. 25.

December 

In Focus: Indra Nooyi
Thursday, Dec. 5, 12:30 p.m. & 5:30 p.m.
G Street Lobby
Join us for a discussion about our newly acquired portrait of business innovator Indra Nooyi.

Conversation Circles
Fridays, Dec. 6, 13, 20 & 27, 10 a.m.­­–noon
G Street Lobby
On Friday mornings, practice English in small groups while learning more about U.S. history through portraiture.

Open Studio
Fridays, Dec. 6, 13, 20 & 27, 1–5 p.m.
Education Center, E151
Work with a different art material each Friday afternoon or explore the museum with a Portrait Discovery Kit.

Portrait Discovery Kits
Saturdays & Sundays, 1–4 p.m.
Dec. 7, 14, 21 & 28
Dec. 1, 8, 15, 22 & 29
Education Center, E151
Pick up an activity kit that guides you through the museum with games and puzzles and learn more about the people who have made American history.

Portrait Story Days
Saturdays & Sundays, 1–4 p.m.
Education Center, E151
Dec. 8: Marian Anderson
Dec. 14 & 15: Amelia Bloomer
Dec. 21 & 22: Louisa May Alcott
Dec. 28 & 29: Ida B. Wells
Drop by on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon to hear a story and create art inspired by someone in the Portrait Gallery’s collection.

A Very Special Holiday with Marian Anderson
Sunday, Dec. 8, noon
Kogod Courtyard, Great Hall, McEvoy Auditorium
Sing and be merry! This day of song pays tribute to one of the greatest opera singers of the twentieth century, Marian Anderson. At noon, join in a family-friendly sing-along with the Choral Arts Society of Washington in the Kogod Courtyard. At 3 p.m., soprano Janice Chandler-Eteme will perform powerful spirituals from Anderson’s repertoire in the historic Great Hall. This program is part of the Smithsonian Year of Music.

Curator Tour–One Life: Marian Anderson
Sunday, Dec. 8, 2 p.m.
Meet at the exhibition entrance, first floor east
Join Associate Curator of Photographs Leslie Ureña for a tour of “One Life: Marian Anderson.”

Young Portrait Explorers: Marian Anderson
Mondays, Dec. 9 & 16, 10:30–11:30 a.m.
Meet in the G Street Lobby
Explore the Portrait Gallery in a program that touches on art and history through storytelling. Offered two Mondays a month for toddlers up to age five and their adult companions. Registration required at npg.eventbrite.com.

See Me at the Portrait Gallery
Wednesday, Dec. 11, 10–11:30 a.m.
Meet in the G Street Lobby
Experience an interactive and multisensory tour of the museum tailored to individuals with dementia and their care partners. Registration required at Access@si.edu.

Curator Tour–Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence
Sunday, Dec. 15, 3 p.m.
Meet at the exhibition entrance, first floor south
Historian and exhibition curator Kate Clarke Lemay will lead visitors through “Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence.”

Roundtable with Women Leaders of the Smithsonian  
Tuesday, Dec. 17, 5 p.m.
McEvoy Auditorium
Join us for a conversation about the history of working women at the Smithsonian This program is presented in part by the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative, “Because of Her Story,” and is hosted by the National Portrait Gallery. Registration required at npg.eventbrite.com.

Working Women: The Smithsonian Institution as a Case Study—A Symposium
Wednesday, Dec. 18, 8:00 a.m.—6:00 p.m.
McEvoy Auditorium
This all-day symposium on women at the Smithsonian Institution aims to shed light on larger trends in American society over the last 150 years. Speakers will not only uncover the ways women have influenced the Smithsonian but will also examine how their pathways and obstacles relate to experiences far beyond its walls. The program is presented in part by the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative, “Because of Her Story,” and is hosted by the National Portrait Gallery. Registration required at npg.eventbrite.com.

Portrait Signs
Thursday, Dec. 26, 5 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 28, noon*
Meet in the G Street Lobby
Join a deaf Gallery Educator for a lively walk-in gallery talk in ASL. *Saturday’s tour also includes voice interpretation.

January

Conversation Circles
Fridays, Jan. 3, 10, 17, 24 & 31, 10 a.m.– noon
G Street Lobby
On Friday mornings, practice English in small groups while learning more about U.S. history through portraiture.

Open Studio
Fridays, Jan. 3, 10, 17, 24 & 31, 1–5 p.m.
Education Center, E151
Work with a different art material each Friday afternoon or explore the museum with a Portrait Discovery Kit.

Portrait Discovery Kits
Saturdays & Sundays, 1–4 p.m.
Jan. 4, 11, 18 & 25
Jan. 5, 12, 19 & 26
Education Center, E151
Pick up an activity kit that guides you through the museum with games and puzzles and learn more about the people who have made American history.

Portrait Story Days
Saturdays & Sundays, 1–4 p.m.
Education Center, E151
Jan. 4 & 5: Sojourner Truth
Jan. 11 & 12: Albert Einstein
Jan. 18 & 19: Martin Luther King Jr.
Jan. 25 & 26: Julie Packard
Drop by on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon to hear a story and create art inspired by someone in the Portrait Gallery’s collection.

Portraiture 101
Tuesday, Jan. 7, 5:30–6:30 p.m.
Meet in the G Street Lobby
Do you love museums but are not sure how to look at art? Do you question the choices the artist made? Do you think about the materials used to make a portrait? If so, this program is for you! Join us to find out the answers to these questions and others during this interactive in-gallery experience led by a National Portrait Gallery educator. On your next visit, impress your family and friends with all that you’ve learned! Registration requested at npg.eventbrite.com.

In Focus: Lin-Manuel Miranda
Thursday, Jan. 9, 12:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
G Street Lobby
Learn more about the “revolutionary” portrait of composer, playwright, and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda on view in “Recent Acquisitions.”

Young Portrait Explorers: Fishes with Julie Packard
*New this year* Saturday, Jan. 11, 10:30–11:30 a.m.
Mondays, Jan. 13 & 27, 10:30–11:30 a.m.
G Street Lobby
Explore the Portrait Gallery in a program that touches on art and history through storytelling. Offered two Mondays and one Saturday a month for toddlers up to age five and their adult companions. Registration required at npg.eventbrite.com.

Portrait InSight
Thursday, Jan. 16, 2 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 18, noon
Meet in the G Street Lobby
Listen to vivid verbal descriptions in a program well suited to visitors who are blind or partially sighted. Registration required at NPGAccess@si.edu.

Keynote Lecture–The Greenberg Steinhauser Forum in American Portraiture
Friday, Jan. 17, 4 p.m.
McEvoy Auditorium
Join us for a keynote lecture inspired by Marian Anderson’s life and career. The public lecture concludes this iteration of the biannual Greenberg Steinhauser Forum in American Portraiture, which centers on the exhibition “One Life: Marian Anderson.” The program is hosted by the National Portrait Gallery’s Scholarly Center, PORTAL= Portraiture + Analysis, and is supported by The Greenberg Foundation. Lecturer to be announced. Registration requested at npgportal.eventbrite.com.

Portrait Signs
Thursday, Jan. 23, 5 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 25, noon*
Meet in the G Street Lobby
Join a deaf Gallery Educator for a lively walk-in gallery talk in ASL. *Saturday’s tour also includes voice interpretation.

February

Strike a Prose: High School Edition
Creative Writing Inspired by Contemporary Americans
Saturday, Feb. 1, 10–11:30 a.m.
Meet in the G Street Lobby
In this creative writing workshop, we will gain inspiration from the portraits and words of icons such as Michelle Obama, LL Cool J and Toni Morrison, who are featured in the National Portrait Gallery’s exhibition “Contemporary Americans.” We will explore themes such as social justice, hope and the American Dream and write our own stories or poems in response. Open to high school students (grades 9–12). Registration required at npg.eventbrite.com. Fee: $12

Portrait Discovery Kits
Saturdays & Sundays, 1–4 p.m.
Feb. 1, 8, 15, 22 & 29
Feb. 2, 9, 16 & 23
Education Center, Room E151
Pick up an activity kit that guides you through the museum with games and puzzles and learn more about the people who have made American history.

Portraiture 101
Tuesday, Feb. 4, 5:30–6:30 p.m.
Meet in the G Street Lobby
Do you love museums but are not sure how to look at art? Do you question choices the artist made? Do you think about the materials used to make a portrait? If so, this program is for you! Join us to find out the answers to these questions and others during this interactive in-gallery experience led by a National Portrait Gallery educator. On your next visit, impress your family and friends with all that you’ve learned! Registration requested at npg.eventbrite.com.

Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company
A Tribute to Marian Anderson
Tuesday, Feb. 4, Wednesday, Feb. 5 & Monday, Feb. 24, 6:30 p.m.
McEvoy Auditorium
Accompanied by pianist Jeffery Watson and soprano Millicent Scarlett, Choreographer in Residence Dana Tai Soon Burgess premiers a new performance in response to the museum’s exhibition “One Life: Marian Anderson.” With a cast of five dancers and a set of solo, duet, trio and quartet dance-suites, this new work pays homage to Anderson’s voice and grace while underscoring the racial barriers she overcame

In Focus: Come Let Us Build a New World Together
Thursday, Feb. 6, 12:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Meet in the G Street Lobby
Celebrate Black History Month as we take a close look at a 1963 Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) poster of John Lewis and the photograph that inspired it.

Conversation Circles
Fridays, Feb. 7, 14, 21 & 28, 10 a.m.– noon
Meet in the G Street Lobby
On Friday mornings, practice English in small groups while learning more about U.S. history through portraiture.

Open Studio
Fridays, 1–5 p.m.
Education Center, E151
Work with a different art material each Friday afternoon or explore the museum with a Portrait Discovery Kit.

Morning at the Museum
Saturday, Feb. 8, 10–11:30 a.m.
Meet in the G Street Lobby
The National Portrait Gallery and Access Smithsonian invite children with disabilities and their families to a sensory-friendly program that includes early entrance into the museum, facilitated activities and a “Take a Break” space. Registration required. To learn more about the program or to register, please contact Ashley Grady at access@si.edu.

Portrait Story Days
Saturdays & Sundays, 1–4 p.m.
Education Center, Room E151
Feb. 8 & 9: Rosa Parks
Feb. 15 & 16: Barack Obama
Feb. 22 & 23: Frederick Douglass
Feb. 29: Michelle Obama
Drop by on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon to hear a story and create art inspired by someone in the Portrait Gallery’s collection.

See Me at the Portrait Gallery
Wednesday, Feb. 12, 10-11:30 a.m.
Experience an interactive and multisensory tour of the museum tailored to individuals with dementia and their care partners. Registration required at Access@si.edu.

Young Portrait Explorers: Martin Luther King Jr.
Mondays, Feb. 10 & 24, 10:30–11:30 a.m.
Meet in the G Street Lobby
Explore the Portrait Gallery in a program that touches on art and history through storytelling. Offered two Mondays a month for toddlers up to age five and their adult companions. Registration required at npg.eventbrite.com.

Drawn to Figures
Wednesdays & Saturdays, 10 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Meet in the G Street Lobby
This drawing workshop led by artist Jill Galloway takes place in the galleries and includes instruction, guided drawing sessions and all supplies. Workshops are open to artists of all skill levels, ages 18 and up. Each workshop is offered twice in one week on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Cost $12 per session.

Space is limited. Registration required at npg.eventbrite.com.
Drawn to Figures workshops in this series:
Feb. 12 & 15: Proportions
Feb. 19 & 22: Shading

Presidential Family Fun Day
Saturday, Feb. 15, 11:30 a.m.–3 p.m.
Kogod Courtyard
Every year we kick off Presidents’ Day weekend with a presidential party loaded with crafts, music, dancing, games and special tours of “America’s Presidents.” Celebrate the presidents with the Portrait Gallery, President Lincoln’s Cottage, the DC Public Library, the Washington Nationals’ Racing Presidents, artists, and experts from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing!

Art AfterWords: A Book Discussion
Join staff from the National Portrait Gallery and the DC Public Library for a monthly conversation about portraits and prose. Discuss a portrait from the museum’s collection in addition to a related book. Registration requested at npg.eventbrite.com.

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
Tuesday, Feb. 18, 5:30–7 p.m.
Meet in the G Street Lobby
Jacqueline Woodson shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in South Carolina and New York during the 1960s and ’70s. Her vivid poems touch upon life at the end of the Jim Crow era and the growing awareness of the civil rights movement. We will discuss how activist Angela Davis is portrayed in Woodson’s memoir and in a photograph on view in the exhibition “In Mid-Sentence.”

Day with the Girl Scouts
Saturday, Feb. 22, 9:30–1:30 a.m.
Meet in the G Street Lobby
Brownie, Junior and Cadette troops are invited to learn more about women who paved the way. View portraits, hear stories and create artwork while earning points toward Girl Scout Legacy badges and Girl Scout Journey completions. Registration required at npg.eventbrite.com.

Strike a Prose: Middle School Edition
Creative Writing Inspired by Contemporary Americans
Saturday, Feb. 22, 10–11:30 a.m.
Meet in the G Street Lobby
In this creative writing workshop, we will gain inspiration from the portraits, lives and words of Michelle Obama, LL Cool J, Toni Morrison and others who are featured in the Portrait Gallery’s exhibition “Contemporary Americans.” Join us to view and discuss works of art, learn how to develop characters and settings, and to write short stories. Open to middle school students (grades 7 and 8). Each participant must be accompanied by an adult. Registration required at npg.eventbrite.com. Fee: $12 (includes registration for one child and one adult).

Portrait Signs
Thursday, Feb.27, 5 p.m.
Saturday, Feb.29, noon*
Meet in the G Street Lobby
Join a deaf Gallery Educator for a lively walk-in gallery talk in ASL. *Saturday’s tour also includes voice interpretation.

Strike a Prose: Elementary School Edition
Creative Writing Inspired by Contemporary Americans
Saturday, Feb. 29, 10 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
Meet in the G Street Lobby
In this creative writing workshop, we will write stories inspired by the portraits of American icons, such as Michelle Obama, LL Cool J and Toni Morrison, who are featured in the National Portrait Gallery’s exhibition “Contemporary Americans.” We will learn how to develop characters, represent conflict and action and use our imaginations to write exciting stories. Open to elementary school students (grades 4–6). Each participant must be accompanied by an adult. Registration required at npg.eventbrite.com.  Fee: $12 (includes registration for one child and one adult).

The National Portrait Gallery is located at 8th St NW & F St NW.