50 episodes

Art, biography, history and identity collide in this podcast from the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. Join Director Kim Sajet as she chats with artists, historians, and thought leaders about the big and small ways that portraits shape our world.

PORTRAITS National Portrait Gallery

    • Arts
    • 4.7 ‱ 162 Ratings

Art, biography, history and identity collide in this podcast from the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. Join Director Kim Sajet as she chats with artists, historians, and thought leaders about the big and small ways that portraits shape our world.

    A Cover Like No Other

    A Cover Like No Other

    When Gloria Steinem co-founded Ms. magazine, she wanted a cover image that would break completely with the norms of the day. There would be no high-end models and no teasers for makeup tips. Instead, the preview issue featured a goddess with eight arms. And she was blue.

    Kim speaks with Gloria and also with the magazine’s first editor, Suzanne Braun Levine, about the ways women had been visually portrayed until their groundbreaking publication hit the newsstands, and how the staff at Ms. worked to turn those stereotypes on their head.

    See the portraits we discuss:

    Pauline Perlmutter Steinem

    Gloria Steinem and Dorothy Pitman Hughes, 1971

    Marilyn Monroe

    Student Protest

    Susan B. Anthony

    Ms. magazine preview cover

    Gloria Steinem and Dorothy Pitman Hughes, 2013

    • 26 min
    BONUS: The Case of the Missing Portrait

    BONUS: The Case of the Missing Portrait

    Dr. Dorothy Andersen solved a vexing medical mystery by identifying cystic fibrosis. But the mystery of her missing portrait remained unsolved.

    This week, we're featuring an episode from the Lost Women of Science podcast about a physician who changed the way we understand acute lung and gastrointestinal problems in small children. But if she was such a medical heavyweight, why did her 1963 portrait disappear from Columbia University's Babies Hospital? The answer tells us something about the perils of memorialization.

    • 30 min
    Pinocchio Noses and Plug-In Halos

    Pinocchio Noses and Plug-In Halos

    Washington Post editorial cartoonist Ann Telnaes says her profession serves as a canary in the coalmine for freedom of expression, a kind of oxygen monitor for democracy itself. When cartoonists are ducking for cover, she says, you'd better watch out. She also shares with Kim why she made the jump from Disney animator to thick-skinned political commentator, through drawing. Then Wendy Wick Reaves, who procured stacks and stacks of political cartoons for the National Portrait Gallery, explains why President Nixon with a Pinocchio nose is indeed a form of portraiture.

    Find Ann’s work on Twitter, @AnnTelnaes.

    See other images we discuss:

    Polly Got A Cracker, by Charles Nelan

    Anti-Cartoon Bill Defiance

    The Watergate Bug, by Patrick Oliphant

    The Credibility Gulf Stream, by Draper Hill

    The Gulf Stream, by Winslow Homer

    • 26 min
    The Business End Of Portraiture

    The Business End Of Portraiture

    Indra Nooyi grew up in a conservative Brahmin household in India, but that didn’t stop her from playing cricket with her brother’s friends, or from joining an all-girl rock band. Years later, when she ascended to the top job at PepsiCo, she would push the boundaries again as one of the few women running a Fortune 500 company.

    Nooyi talks to Kim about why she initially shrank from the press when she arrived in the C-suite, and how she wanted to be seen in her own portrait as an American Portrait Gala honoree.

    See the portraits we discuss:

    Indra Nooyi

    Meg Whitman

    Anne Catherine Hoof Green

    Martha Stewart

    • 22 min
    BONUS: Finding Cleopatra

    BONUS: Finding Cleopatra

    From our fellow Smithsonian podcast, Sidedoor, the story of Edmonia Lewis— the first sculptor of African American and Native American (Mississauga) descent to achieve international fame. Her 3,000-pound masterwork, “The Death of Cleopatra,” commemorated another powerful woman who broke with convention
 and then it disappeared.

    See Edmonia Lewis’s portrait here.

    • 27 min
    Postal Pairings

    Postal Pairings

    Before cable news and email and Twitter, it was the postal service that transmitted ideas and information across land, sea, and political divides. Kim speaks with National Postal Museum chief curator Dan Piazza about some of the messages that stamps themselves were communicating, including a few asides from Philatelist-in-Chief, Franklin D. Roosevelt.

    We also pair some noteworthy stamps to original artwork that lives right here at the National Portrait Gallery.

    See the portraits we discuss:

    Benjamin Franklin by Duplessis

    Franklin’s stamp

    Roosevelt and the Little White House

    Roosevelt at his desk

    Susan B. Anthony, bronze bust

    Susan B. Anthony, three cents

    Susan B. Anthony, photograph

    Susan B. Anthony, fifty cents

    Jean Baptiste Pointe du Sable

    Benjamin Banneker

    • 22 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
162 Ratings

162 Ratings

margofaz ,

Interesting and well done

Wonderful topics, interesting guests and hosts and an all around great podcast.

la hermanas ,

So biased!! đŸ€ź

This could have been good but it’s all from a far LEFT spectrum. Too bad!!

Happyhamster66 ,

Great podcast

I really love this podcast - interesting, fun, great guests and great presenter

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