The National Portrait Gallery and The Atlantic announce “Perspectives: Atlantic Writers at the National Portrait Gallery”

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery and Atlantic announce a new cross-platform collaboration titled “Perspectives: Atlantic‘s Writers at the National Portrait Gallery. As part of the redevelopment of the galleries of the museum’s permanent collections, the Portrait Gallery and Atlantic will highlight a selection of the country’s founding voices in literature, politics, philosophy and culture with interpretive wall texts written by Atlanticcontemporary writers and editors. The project will be presented in person and online starting July 1 with the reopening of the museum’s “Out of Many: Portraits from 1600 to 1900” exhibition, and it will coincide with the magazine’s 165th anniversary year.

The collaboration will feature feedback from Atlantic‘s writers reflecting on the work and legacy of previous Atlantic contributors whose portraits are on display at the museum, such as Louisa May Alcott, Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, Martin Luther King Jr. and John Lewis. The new wall texts, written by Atlantic, will draw connections between the magazine’s historical focus on abolition, its current commitment to social justice and civil rights, and the museum’s many portraits of diverse activists. Also included will be portraits of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Harriet Beecher Stowe, three of the founders who created Atlantic in Boston in 1857.

Visitors will be able to discover these portraits at the museum or virtually thanks to an online visit, available now, supplemented by audio descriptions read by each author. Starting July 1, eight portraits will be on display in “Out of Many: Portraits from 1600 to 1900” on the first floor of the Portrait Gallery, and five more will be installed in the second and third floor galleries of the museum. The online tour includes all 13 works of art on display in the museum as well as additional portraits for the full project suite of over 20 models and a video of the project. Other newly interpreted portraits will be installed throughout the museum in the years to come.

“History is always changing and evolving depending on who is holding the pen,” said Kim Sajet, director of the National Portrait Gallery. “It is a pleasure to work with Atlanticfor their perspective on these historical figures. »

Atlantic has been central to the intellectual, cultural and political life of our country for 165 years,” said Jeffrey Goldberg, editor of the magazine. “Our partners at the National Portrait Gallery have done a great service by showcasing our writers and their contributions to the advancement of the American experience.”

“Perspectives: Atlantic‘s Writers at the National Portrait Gallery’ is the latest initiative between the museum and Atlantic. The two entities will also collaborate on public programs over the coming year, and the Portrait Gallery will host writers on Season 4 of the museum’s PORTRAITS podcast.

“Out of Many: Portraits from 1600 to 1900” is sponsored by Ann S. and Samuel M. Mencoff and the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Portraits to discover from July 1

Sitters & Atlantic Writers
Louisa May Alcott & Adrienne LaFrance, Editor-in-Chief
Frederick Douglass and George Packer, Editors
Ralph Waldo Emerson and Vann R. Newkirk II, Editor
Nathaniel Hawthorne & Ann Hulbert, literary editor
Julia Ward Howe and Anna Deavere Smith, Contributing Writer
Martin Luther King Jr. & Peter Wehner, Contributing Writer
John Lewis and Ibram X. Kendi, Contributing Writer
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow & Jeffrey Goldberg, Editor
A. Philip Randolph & Caitlin Dickerson, Editor
Carl Sandburg and Anne Applebaum, Editors
Harriet Beecher Stowe and Drew Gilpin Faust, Contributing Writer
Harry S. Truman and Yoni Appelbaum, Associate Editor
Booker T. Washington and Adam Harris, writer

National Portrait Gallery
The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery tells the multifaceted history of the United States through the individuals who have shaped American culture. Spanning the visual arts, performing arts and new media, the Portrait Gallery portrays poets and presidents, visionaries and villains, actors and activists whose lives tell the story of the nation.

The National Portrait Gallery is located at Eighth and G Streets NW, Washington, DC Smithsonian Information: (202) 633-1000. Connect with the museum at and on Facebook, Instagram, Twitterand YouTube.

Since 1857, Atlantic has been a magazine of ideas – a home for the best writers and boldest minds, bringing clarity and original thinking to the most important issues of today’s times. Through his journalism, he aims to help his readers better understand the world and its possibilities as they navigate the complexities of everyday life. Record audiences and subscriber numbers turned to Atlanticdemanding coverage of the pandemic and its aftermath, threats to global democracy, and issues of race and inequality. Jeffrey Goldberg is Atlanticeditor-in-chief ; Nick Thompson is the CEO. Atlantic won the highest honor for magazines, General Excellence, at the 2022 National Magazine Awards.

Press contacts:
Concetta Duncan | National Portrait Gallery
202.633.9989, [email protected]

Anna Bros | Atlantic
202.680.3848, [email protected]

Credits of the portraits above: “Harry S. Truman, 1884–1972,” by Jay Wesley Jacobs / “Louisa May Alcott, 1832–1888.” Cast after: Frank Edwin Elwell; Foundry: Roman Bronze Works Inc. / ‘Richard Wright, 1908–1960’, by Carl Van Vechten / ‘Julia Ward Howe, 1819–1910’, started by John Elliott; finished by William Henry Cotton / “Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1807–1882”, by Thomas Buchanan Read / “Samuel L. Clemens (Mark Twain) 1835–1910”, by John White Alexander / “Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1804–1864”, by Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze / “Frederick Douglass, 1818–1895”, by unidentified artist / “Booker T. Washington, 1856–1919”. Cast after: Richmond Barthé; Foundry: Modern Art Foundry.

Julia P. Cluff