The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. has a knack for putting an eclectic group of people under one roof. They are faces that otherwise might never share a space. The museum recently opened an exhibit, drawn from its collection, featuring portraits of outstanding Americans in science, government, business, sports, entertainment and the arts. Americans Now, showcasing the portraiture of artists using a variety of media, includes the iconic image of President Barack Obama by Shepard Fairey and another of Michelle Obama by artist Mickalene Thomas. Among many other works, there’s a self-portrait of the artist Chuck Close reflected on a polished metal cylinder and a projected video—The Late Night Triad—of Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien and David Letterman.
The exhibit runs through July 2011.