National Portrait Gallery Announces Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition Call for Entries

July 25, 2011
News Release

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery opens a “call for entries” for the next installment of the “Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition.” The juried competition is open to artists over the age of 18 to submit portraits in any visual art medium that has been created after Jan. 1, 2010. Submissions may be submitted online at from Sept. 1 through Oct. 31. The exhibition of finalists will be presented in 2013.

There have been two installations of the “Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition.” Both attracted entries from every state in the United States. The winner of the first competition, David Lenz, created a portrait of Eunice Kennedy Shriver for the museum’s collection. Dave Woody, who was awarded the top prize for the second competition, has also been commissioned to create a work for the Portrait Gallery’s collection.

“I am pleased to announce the dates for this call to enter the third Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition,” said Martin Sullivan, director of the National Portrait Gallery. “This program and subsequent exhibition demonstrates the widespread interest in portraiture and identity and showcases the talent of artists working with the subject today.” Entries will be accepted online at the Portrait Gallery’s website and will initially be judged using an online jury system. A semifinalist group of portraits will be selected to be judged in person; the exhibition and winners will be selected from that group. The jurors for this competition are Martin E. Sullivan, director, National Portrait Gallery; Brandon Brame Fortune, curator, Department of Painting and Sculpture, National Portrait Gallery; Peter Frank, writer, curator and critic, Los Angeles; Hung Liu, artist and professor, Mills College, Oakland, Calif.; Richard J. Powell, John Spencer Bassett Professor of Art and Art History and professor of African and African American Studies, Duke University, Durham, N.C.; Alec Soth, artist, Minneapolis.

The competition invites submissions of portraits in all media, including painting, drawing, sculpture, prints, photography, electronic and digital media. All finalist works will be shown in a major exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery March 22, 2013, through Jan. 4, 2014. The grand prize winner will receive a $25,000 cash award and will have the opportunity for a separate commission to portray a remarkable living American for the Portrait Gallery’s collection. In addition, entrants may be featured on “Face to Face”, the Portrait Gallery’s blog, as the competition unfolds.

More information about entering the competition is at

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery tells the history of America through the individuals who have shaped its culture. Through 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 American story.

The National Portrait Gallery is part of the Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture at Eighth and F streets N.W., Washington, D.C. Website: Smithsonian information: (202) 633-1000; (202) 633-5285 (TTY).

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Bethany Bentley

(202) 633-8293