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Gilbert Stuart’s Landsdowne portrait of George Washington (1796), installed in "America’s Presidents" in the National Portrait Gallery. Photo by Hugh Talman
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PORTRAIT AMERICA
by N.F. Karlins


With admirable timing, the Smithsonian Institution premiered its refurbished and updated American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., on this long Independence Day weekend. After six years and a cost of almost $300 million, the two museums can once again be visited in their joint home, the old U. S. Patent Building, a 19th-century Neoclassic landmark a few blocks north of the National Mall, now lovingly repaired, updated, expanded and reconfigured.

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