"In Mid-Sentence” Presents a Selection of Photographs from the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery’s Collection

Friday, February 14, 2020
"In Mid-Sentence” Presents a Selection of Photographs from the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery’s Collection

Photographs are often replete with words that remain unheard. “In Mid-Sentence” presents a selection of photographs from the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery’s collection that depict moments of communication: intimate confessions, public speeches, exchanged jokes, political confrontations, lectures and more.

Image: Martin Luther King, Jr. by Robert Adelman / Gelatin silver print, 1963 / National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution / © Robert Adelman Estate

 

Photographs are often replete with words that remain unheard. “In Mid-Sentence” presents a selection of photographs from the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery’s collection that depict moments of communication: intimate confessions, public speeches, exchanged jokes, political confrontations, lectures and more.

 

Martin Luther King, Jr. by Robert Adelman / Gelatin silver print, 1963 / National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution / © Robert Adelman Estate

 

Photographs featured in this exhibition encapsulate pivotal moments, such as John F. Kennedy’s televised speech for the 1960 Democratic National Convention or Walter Cronkite’s clandestine 1971 meeting with Daniel Ellsberg at the time of the publication of the “Pentagon Papers.” The exhibition provides the missing script for these otherwise silent voices, granting another means for understanding these interactions by placing them within their socio-historical contexts.

 

Althea Gibson by Genevieve Naylor / Gelatin silver print, 1957 (c. 1970 print from original negative) / National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution / © Estate of Genevieve Naylor

 

An illustrated brochure accompanies the exhibition, and several of the represented speeches are included in an interactive kiosk.

John F. Kennedy by Garry Winogrand / Gelatin silver print, 1960 (printed 1983) /National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution / © The Estate of Garry Winogrand, courtesy of Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco

 

The exhibition is curated by Leslie Ureña, associate curator of photographs, National Portrait Gallery.

Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery’s Collection, through 4 March, 2020

 

 

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