18 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

    • Visual Arts
    • 4.9, 64 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.

    Painting Through a President's Assassination, with Brandon Fortune

    Painting Through a President's Assassination, with Brandon Fortune

    It commands attention among the more sober portraits in the Presidents’ gallery, interrupting a room of men in dark suits with an explosion of green and gold. Chief curator Brandon Fortune recounts the tragic backstory behind this standout portrait of President John F. Kennedy by one of the few women who gained a foothold in the abstract expressionist movement— Elaine de Kooning.

    You can see de Kooning’s remarkable painting on our website:

    https://npg.si.edu/podcasts

    • 22 min
    Focusing on Ruben Salazar, with Taína Caragol

    Focusing on Ruben Salazar, with Taína Caragol

    Ruben Salazar was one of the first Latinx journalists to rise through the ranks of a major U.S. newspaper. Initially, he was careful to avoid being pigeonholed as a reporter on minority issues, but eventually he became known for digging into stories about police brutality and racial profiling— subjects also championed by the Chicano Movement. Curator Taína Caragol takes us through his life, frame by frame, and explains why some call him a martyr.

    See the portraits we talk about on our website:

    https://npg.si.edu/podcasts/ruben-salazar

    • 13 min
    Growing Younger with Harriet Tubman

    Growing Younger with Harriet Tubman

    Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden and film director Kasi Lemmons love Harriet Tubman, but they weren't in love with her portrait as an older woman in a heavy dark dress. Then Hayden got a call.

    See the photographs we talk about here:

    https://npg.si.edu/podcasts/harriet-tubman

    • 21 min
    Close Looking with Briana Zavadil White

    Close Looking with Briana Zavadil White

    In the first of our ‘social distancing’ episodes, educator Briana Zavadil White takes us to stand in front of one of her favorite paintings at the National Portrait Gallery. It commemorates a brutal boxing match that was fought 100 years ago, but Briana brings it alive… from the sound of the bell, to the smell of popcorn, to the sweltering heat.

    See the portraits discussed on our website:

    https://npg.si.edu/podcasts/home-gallery-dempsy-willard

    • 14 min
    Removing the Sting with Will Rogers

    Removing the Sting with Will Rogers

    Long before Coronavirus upended our lives, Will Rogers saw the United States through another difficult and divisive time. The good-humored cowboy is perhaps best remembered for his movies, but he was also a prolific social commentator who managed to cross divides with his comedic wit… and also advocated for those hardest hit by the Great Depression.

    Check out the portraits we discussed on our website!

    https://npg.si.edu/podcasts/will-rogers

    • 24 min
    Season 2 Trailer

    Season 2 Trailer

    Why was it so startling to find a photograph of Harriet Tubman as a young woman? Why did Elaine de Kooning stop painting after the assassination of John F. Kennedy? We offer a series of virtual visits to the National Portrait Gallery for all our listeners forced to hunker down during the coronavirus pandemic. Join museum director Kim Sajet as she chats with curators and educators about their favorite portraits and the remarkable stories behind the art, starting March 31.

    • 2 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
64 Ratings

64 Ratings

driven2review ,

So good

Love the ep about the JFK portrait

rjstak ,

This podcast makes me feel smart

I’m always learning something new from Portraits! Since we can’t visit the Gallery right now, (pandemic times) I am so happy to be able to hear about all of the amazing portraits that are patiently waiting for us to heal so we can return and witness their beauty and uniqueness in real life.

JPUphl ,

Another great episode

Thanks Kim for another great episode. Looking forward to the exhibition.

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