The National Portrait Gallery was founded in 1962 and has since been collecting and displaying portraits of individuals who have notably contributed to the history and development of the United States and its people. The museum continues to gather portraits and tell the story of the ever changing and developing story of America’s cultural, political and general history. On a visit to the National Portrait Gallery your students can expect to explore numerous creative mediums such as traditional arts, visual arts, performance and new media all of which represent significant individuals who have contributed and shaped the United States throughout history.
The museums impressive collection spans over 23,000 items ranging from traditional forms of art such as paintings, drawings and prints to more contemporary and modern forms such as digital media. Amongst the works in the collection is the largest number of presidential portraits outside of the White House, a collection that has been growing since the 1990’s when the National Portrait Gallery began commissioning portraits of the presidents.