Today, sports figures and celebrities leave their mark on American society as much as the industrialists, explorers, politicians and writers did in the 19th and 20th centuries.

The National Portrait Gallery displays many portraits of those persons who have inspired us in the sports arena or on the silver screen.

Muhammad Ali: a silkscreen by Andy Warhol

Muhammad Ali: oil painting by Henry C. Casselli, Jr.

Michael Jackson: synthetic polymer and silkscreen by Andy Warhol

Joe Louis: oil painting by Betsy Graves Reyneau

Oscar Robinson: February 16, 1961 Time Magazine cover by Russell Hoban

Bobby Hull: March 1, 1968 Time Magazine cover by Leroy Neiman

Arthur Ashe: acrylic on canvas by Louis Briel

L.L. Cool J: oil painting by Kehinde Wiley

Katherine Hepburn: oil painting by Everett Raymond Kinstler

In addition to this portrait of Katherine Hepburn, her unprecedented four Best Actress Academy Awards are now part of the National Portrait Gallery's permanent exhibition...

From left to right are her Academy Award for Morning Glory in 1933. Interestingly, that particular statue was the very first to be referred to by a Hollywood reporter as an Oscar. She also won in 1967 for Guess Who's Coming Dinner, the very next year for 1968's The Lion in Winter and 1981's On Golden Pond. Nearly 50 years went by between her first and last award. Note how different each statue is from the others.

The National Portrait Gallery presents the wonderful diversity of individuals who have left, and are leaving, their mark on our country and our culture. As a Smithsonian Museum, admission is always FREE at the National Portrait Gallery. Click here to visit the National Portrait Gallery's website. 

All photos in this blog post were taken by my husband and me during our visit in September, 2013.


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