Portrait of Tommy Lasorda Installed at the National Portrait Gallery Sept. 22

September 16, 2009
News Release

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery will install a portrait of Tommy Lasorda, Hall of Fame manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers Tuesday, Sept. 22. Painted by artist Everett Raymond Kinstler, the life-sized portrait measures 60 by 50 inches and was commissioned to commemorate Lasorda’s legacy as part of the Dodgers’ organization. Sept. 22 is Lasorda’s 82nd birthday and the first night of a three-game series between the Dodgers and the Washington Nationals in Washington, D.C. The portrait will be on view in the museum’s exhibition “New Arrivals” on the first floor through Nov. 15.

“We are honored to accept this portrait of baseball legend Tommy Lasorda into our permanent collection,” said Martin Sullivan, director of the museum. “Tommy Lasorda is an individual who epitomizes the spirit, sportsmanship and integrity of America’s national pastime.” The National Portrait Gallery’s Commissioners voted Lasorda into the permanent collection, an honor given to only a limited number of Americans and other individuals who have had a significant impact on American history and culture.

After a brief Major League career as a left-handed pitcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Lasorda became one of the most enthusiastic and successful managers in baseball history. In his 20-year career as the Dodgers’ manager, Lasorda led the team to eight division titles and two World Championships. After his retirement, he became a Dodgers executive, and this year marks his 60th season with the Dodger organization and his fifth year as special advisor to the chairman. Lasorda was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1997, and he managed the U.S. team to its first-ever baseball gold medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Kinstler has painted more than 1,200 portraits of well-known personalities and public figures. The Portrait Gallery’s collection includes paintings and sketches of Katharine Hepburn, Tony Bennett, Richard Nixon, Norman Rockwell and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Lasorda sat for the portrait at Kinstler’s National Arts Club studio in New York City in June 2009. The portrait is a gift from friends of Lasorda.

About the 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 opened to the public in 1968. The museum’s collection of more than 20,000 works includes paintings, sculpture, photographs, drawings and new media. Located at Eighth and F streets N.W., in Washington, D.C., it is open every day, except Dec. 25, from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Smithsonian information: (202) 633-1000; (202) 633-5285 (TTY). Web site: www.npg.si.edu.

Note to editors: An image for publicity may be downloaded from a password-protected FTP site. Call (202) 633-8295 or e-mail ZirinskyJ@si.edu to access the site.

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