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Pittsburgh at the Smithsonian

Abstract

The new exhibition, Smithsonian’s Portraits of Pittsburgh: Works from the National Portrait Gallery, represents a unique partnership between the History Center and a Smithsonian museum whose activities over the past decade have reinvigorated public dialog about the nature and meaning of American portraiture. Founded by Congress in 1962 and opened to the public in 1968, the National Portrait Gallery’s mission is to “tell the story of America by portraying the people who shape the nation’s history, development, and culture.” Director Kim Sajet has called it a place “where art and biography, history and identity collide.”1 The National Portrait Gallery focuses on life portraits, that is, images that were created during the historical period in which the person depicted was alive, from
the time in which their story was formed.

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