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Great Britons from the National Portrait Gallery arrive at Smithsonian


Joshua Reynolds' self-portrait, which made a fine stamp, will be on exhibit in Washington, DC.

Val Ivey rang up to say the Chandos portrait of Shakespeare and portraits of 60 other notable Britons spanning 500 years had arrived at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC.

The Smithsonian is celebrating the 150th anniversary of London's National Portrait Gallery with an exhibition opening 27 April and running to 3 September. The exhibit includes portraits of individuals who "created political change, from Henry VIII and Oliver Cromwell to Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher"; innovators such as Sir Isaac Newton, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Charles Darwin and Stephen Hawking; painters such as Walter Sickert and Sir John Everitt Millais; even a digital video portrait of footballer David Beckham (whether before or after his latest arm-wrapping tattoo, I don’t know); and paintings of Elizabeth I and Elizabeth II.

The Smithsonian promises, “The exhibition will demonstrate the common histories of the two countries”, which seems like a tall order. Churchill would be glad to make the case, however.

For exhibit details.