To mark the 2024 presidential election, the Smithsonians National Portrait Gallery will present Picturing the Presidents: Daguerreotypes and Ambrotypes from the National Portrait Gallerys Collection. This exhibition features historic photographic portraits of 11 men who held the nations highest office. Curated by Senior Curator of Photographs Ann Shumard, the exhibition will be on view May 31, 2024, through June 8, 2025.

Exhibition highlights include the 1843 daguerreotype of John Quincy Adamsthe earliest surviving photograph of a U.S. President. Also of note is an ambrotype pin created to promote Abraham Lincolns candidacy for President in 1860. This rare example of campaign ephemera reproduces Mathew Bradys first photograph of Lincolnan image credited with contributing to Lincolns victory at the polls.

The vintage daguerreotypes and ambrotypes in this exhibition are among the treasures of the Portrait Gallerys collection, Shumard said. They offer visitors a unique opportunity to view some of the earliest photographic likenesses of our nations Presidents.

Picturing the Presidents also presents images of two Presidents whose terms in office predated photographys introduction in 1839. George Washington is pictured in a daguerreotype of Gilbert Stuarts famous 1796 painting, while an ambrotype of Andrew Jackson reproduces a painted miniature of the nations seventh President. The exhibition includes daguerreotypes of Martin Van Buren, Zachary Taylor, Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan and Chester Arthur. A coda to these representations of the nations early presidents is a modern daguerreotype documenting the 2009 inauguration of Barack Obama.

As one-of-a-kind objects, daguerreotypes and ambrotypes enjoyed only limited circulation. However, they inspired a host of popular prints that reached countless American households. Three such prints picturing John Quincy Adams, Franklin Pierce and James Buchanan are included in Picturing the Presidents.

This exhibition complements the museums Americas Presidents gallery, which displays portraits of all past U.S. Presidents in a variety ofmedia.

National Portrait Gallery

The Smithsonians National Portrait Gallery tells the multifaceted story of the United States through the individuals who have shaped American culture. Spanning 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 nations story.

The National Portrait Gallery is located at Eighth and G streets N.W., Washington, D.C. Smithsonian Information: (202) 633-1000. Connect with the museum atnpg.si.eduand onFacebook,Instagram,XandYouTube.

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