A real national treasure?

Editor's Note: The portrait of Stephen Colbert returned to view at the National Museum of American History on December 16, 2010.

Last night (October 16) on “The Colbert Report,” the museum’s director, Brent D. Glass agreed on air that Stephen Colbert is indeed a national treasure. The saga began in January, when the comedian began a quest to have his portrait accepted by one of the Smithsonian’s museums. Colbert bargained with director Brent Glass, was rejected, and then headed over to the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. The portrait was hung near the bathrooms in the Portrait Gallery for a few months where it was a hit with museum visitors. Last night’s episode picks up where we left off in April, when the portrait was displayed in the National Museum of American History’s “Treasures of American History” exhibition.

Fast forward to the present to find Dr. Glass formally accepting the portrait into the museum’s collections. Watch the reactions when Colbert “accidentally” puts his foot through the painting as he hands the artifact over to the museum.

Have no fear, though, Colbert did not kick through the actual portrait! The original is safe and sound among the other treasures in the museum’s entertainment collection.

Dana Allen-Greil is the museum's new media project manager.

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Portrait Accepted - Brent Glass
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