The National Portrait Gallery celebrates Aretha Franklin with a week-long exhibition

With the passing of Aretha Franklin on August 16, 2018, the world lost one of its most distinctive voices and personalities. As celebrities and fans share their memories of the Queen of Soul and her music, the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery will pay homage to Songstress’ legendary life with a weekly exhibit of her portrait.

Throughout her career, Franklin has won some of the music industry’s highest accolades, including 18 Grammy Awards. In 1987, she became the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Almost 30 years later, in 2015, the National Portrait Gallery celebrates Franklin with the Portrait of a National Award, which recognizes “the achievements of notable contemporary Americans whose portraits reside in the National Portrait Gallery’s collection” . (Madeline Albright, Spike Lee and Rita Moreno are among some of his recent recipients.)

Franklin’s portrait was the creation of graphic artist Milton Glaser, who employed “his characteristic kaleidoscope palette and innovative geometric shapes to convey the creative energy of Franklin’s performances”, according to the gallery. The colored lithograph was created in 1968, the same year the National Portrait Gallery opened.

Glaser’s image will be installed in the “In Memoriam” section of the museum, which is located on the first floor, on Friday, August 17 and will remain on public display until August 22, 2018. The gallery is open daily from 11 a.m.: 30 p.m. until 7 p.m. and admission is free.

Julia P. Cluff