While the museum remains closed due to Covid-19 safety precautions, we hope you enjoy this virtual exhibition
Visionary draws from the extraordinary portrait commissioning project launched by collectors Ian and Annette Cumming in 1995. Working closely with art advisor D.Dodge Thompson, they selected national and global leaders whose boldness, courage, and perseverance ensured that their legacies would live on a century from now. As such, their collection grew over twenty-five years to encompass portraits of scientists who made major discoveries; writers who influenced the world with their words; activists who fought for freedom, civil rights, and climate change; Supreme Court justices; and presidents. Several are Nobel Prize winners; we remember them all.
Visionary presents several of these portraits, most of which are gifts, or promised gifts, to the National Portrait Gallery. Each work was created by a major American artist and stands as a testament to the Cummings’ creative vision and enlightened patronage.
Due to the museum’s closure for much of 2020, only a selection of the Cummings’ gift is on view. Robert McCurdy’s paintings inaugurate the exhibition, and in December, portraits by Nelson Shanks, Chuck Close, and Jack Beal will be installed.