Who knew? I didn’t. I do now, however, and I visit frequently. I thought you might be interested as well.
The National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institute has a blog called face to face and can be found at face2face.si.edu/my_weblog/. It “is dedicated to art, history, and the telling of American lives”. On a regular basis, the Portrait Gallery features one of the works found there; be it painting or photograph, sculpture, or other medium, and an essay explaining the work of art featured in the post. They are always informative and quite interesting about famous, or not so famous, people in the history of the United States.
In each feature, subjects explored are as varied as the protocol of presidential portraits and how they are hung when accompanied by those of the vice president and cabinet, to first ladies who have lectured at the National Portrait Gallery, or all about the likenesses and lives and contributions of confectioner Domingo Ghirardelli, or baseball legend Joe DiMaggio, Edgar Alan Poe or Edith Head, Marilyn Monroe or Thomas Paine.
One of my favorites is of Dolley Madison, wife of president James Madison. She was a remarkable first lady that I have always admired for her grace and her spunk. Dolley Madison is credited with saving the Gilbert Stuart painting of George Washington, an original draft of the Declaration of Independence, and other noteworthy items when the White House was about to be torched in the War of 1812.
There are also interesting postings about art conservation that I found to be fascinating.
I loved visiting the Smithsonian when the girls were young and was always sorry that there wasn’t enough time to go into the Portrait Gallery. I will return one day and will be able to see the many works of art there up close, but, for now, in the leisurely moments of my life, it is a pleasure to view some of our national treasures of art from my computer. I hope you will find some enjoyment as well.
Pictures of portraits are from the face to face blog site.