National Portrait Gallery Recognizes Latino Americans With New Works

Museum Announces First Commissioned Portrait of a Latino
September 12, 2016
News Release

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Portrait of Rudolfo Anaya

Versión en español

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery has recently added new portraits of prominent Latino figures and artists to its permanent collection. The museum also undertook its first Latino commission: a portrait by El Paso artist Gaspar Enríquez of New Mexican writer Rudolfo Anaya, author of Bless Me, Ultima. It will be installed in November 2016.

Other significant acquisitions for the Portrait Gallery include the remastered 1974 film Mirage by the late Cuban American artist Ana Mendieta; the iconic portrait of Celia Cruz “¡Yo soy de Cuba la voz, Guantanamera!” by Cuban American photographer Alexis Rodríguez-Duarte, in collaboration with stylist Tico Torres; and a portfolio of 18 photographs from Rodríguez-Duarte’s and Torres’ series “Cuba out of Cuba.” The portfolio features key Cuban American personalities, including musicians Gloria and Emilio Estefan, journalist Cristina Saralegui, fashion designers Isabel Toledo and Narciso Rodríguez and playwright Nilo Cruz.

Other newly acquired works depict U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera, historian Rodolfo Acuña, guitarist Louie Pérez and visual artist Rupert García by Harry Gamboa Jr. from his “Chicano Male Unbonded” series, Grammy Award-winning accordionist Flaco Jiménez by Al Rendón and portraits of Nuyorican writers Piri Thomas and Tato Laviera by Máximo Colón.

These acquisitions and the commission were made possible through federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center.

In addition, the Portrait Gallery is hosting events to coincide with Hispanic Heritage Month. From Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, the museum will have on view 24 portraits of Latino artists and sitters, including Rubén Blades, Pedro Martínez, Rita Moreno, Nicholasa Mohr, John Santos and many more, as well as a portrait of Juan Nepomuceno Seguín, hero of the Texas revolution, by Thomas Jefferson Wright, which is on loan from the Texas State Capitol.

National Portrait Gallery Hispanic Heritage Month Programs

Portrait Story Days

Saturdays, 1–4 p.m.
Sundays, 2–5 p.m.

Sept. 24 and 25: Dolores Huerta

Oct. 1 and 2: Pedro Martínez

Oct 8 and 9: Sonia Sotomayor

Oct. 16: César Chávez

Education Center

Visitors can listen to a story and create art inspired by people in the museum’s collection. In partnership with Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, DC Public Library

Young Portrait Explorers: Sonia Sotomayor

Monday, Oct. 3; 10:30–11:30 a.m.

G Street lobby

Kids can explore the Portrait Gallery in a program that touches on art and history through storytelling. For toddlers up to age five and their adult companions. Registration required; visit

Thursdays at Noon: Slow Looking

Thursday, Oct. 6
Visitors can sketch and discuss Nelson Shanks’ portrait, “The Four Justices,” with a Portrait Gallery educator. Materials provided.

Hispanic Heritage Month Family Day

Saturday, Oct. 15; 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Kogod Courtyard

Visitors can create art, listen to music and dance in celebration of Hispanic heritage in America.

Thursdays at Noon: Portrait Conversations

Thursday, Oct. 20

Visitors can learn about the portrait of Juan Nepomuceno Seguín, hero of the Texas revolution, by artist Thomas Jefferson Wright, with Taína Caragol, the museum’s curator of Latino art and history.

National Portrait Gallery

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery tells the multifaceted story 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. Smithsonian Information: (202) 633-1000. Website: Connect with the museum at Facebook; Instagram; blog; Twitter and YouTube.


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Bethany Bentley

(202) 633-8293