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National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC – Virtual Tour

The National Portrait Gallery

The National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC – Virtual Tour

The National Portrait Gallery is part of the Smithsonian Institution and its collection focuses on images of famous Americans.

The museum is housed in the Old Patent Office Building, as is the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Virtual Tour of the National Portrait Gallery of America

Exhibited at the Whitehouse

Highlights Tour of the National Portrait Gallery of America

“John Adams” by John Trumbull

“John Adams” by John Trumbull depicts the American statesman and  Founding Father, who served as the second President of the United States (1797–1801) and served two terms as the first Vice President (1789–97).  

When Adams was vice president, he had portraits commissioned by the artist John Trumbull, who based this painting on one of those original portraits.

John Adams established his prominence early in the American Revolution. He was a delegate from Massachusetts to the Continental Congress, where he played a leading role in persuading Congress to declare independence.

John Adams assisted Thomas Jefferson in drafting the Declaration of Independence in 1776. As a diplomat, he helped negotiate the eventual peace treaty with Great Britain.

George Washington, Lansdowne Portrait by Gilbert Stuart

This portrait of “George Washington,” also known as the Lansdowne Portrait, is an iconic portrait of the first President of the United States.

The picture was painted from life and showed Washington at 64 years of age, renouncing a third term as U.S. President. Replicas of this original, painted by Stuart, are on display in the White House and some other national institutions.

This portrait was commissioned by one of the wealthiest men in the U.S., when, and was given to the British Prime Minister, who later became the first Marquess of Lansdowne.

It was a gift of appreciation, as he had supported the independence of the colonies in Parliament, and he succeeded in securing peace with America during his term as Prime Minister of Great Britain. In 2001, it was purchased for $20 million and returned to the U.S.

“George Washington”, The Athenaeum Portrait by Gilbert Stuart

“George Washington”  by Gilbert Stuart is a portrait of the first president of the United States and is also known as “The Athenaeum.” It is Stuart’s most celebrated and famous work.

Stuart is considered one of America’s foremost portraitists, and his best-known work is this unfinished portrait of George Washington.

This image of Washington has appeared on the United States one-dollar bill for more than a century and on various U.S. postage stamps.

Stuart painted George Washington in a series of portraits, each of them leading to a demand for copies that kept Stuart busy for years.

However, he never completed this original version. After finishing Washington’s face, he held the original version to make the copies. Stuart, along with his daughters, painted over 100 reproductions of The Athenaeum.

“Mary Cassatt” by Edgar Degas

“Mary Cassatt” by Edgar Degas depicts the American impressionist artist who was a lifelong friend of Degas and served as a model for him on several occasions.

Mary Stevenson Cassatt (1844 – 1926) was an American painter who lived much of her adult life in France, where she first befriended Edgar Degas and later exhibited among the Impressionists.

Stifled by traditional art, she regarded her exposure to the work of Edgar Degas in 1874 as a turning point in her artistic life.

Despite her high regard for Degas’ work, Cassatt did not like this portrayal of her, commenting: “It has artistic qualities but is so painful and represents me as a person so repugnant that I would not wish it to be known that I posed for it.”

The National Portrait Gallery

  • Name:                   National Portrait Gallery
  • City:                       Washington, D.C.
  • Country:               United States
  • Opened:               1829
  • Type:                     Portrait Gallery
  • Location:              8th & F Streets NW, Washington, D.C., United States

The National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC Map

The National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC Map – 360 Views

The National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC Map – 360 Views

A Tour of Washington, D.C. Museums

National Portrait Gallery

National Portrait Gallery

Virtual Tour of National Museums of the United States

National Portrait Gallery

Walking Tour of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC


“Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow.
The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.”

– Abraham Lincoln


Photo Credit: JOM

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