Portrait of Dennis Hopper by Robert Weingarten

Pushing Boundaries

Portraits by Robert Weingarten

Closed October 14, 2012

Pushing Boundaries: Portraits by Robert Weingarten presented 16 of Weingarten’s digital composite portraits of iconic Americans including Sandra Day O'Connor, Hank Aaron, and Chuck Close. In addition, more than two dozen portraits by other photographers from the Photographic History Collection were presented to provide context about the long history of combination printing and portraiture.

Exhibition Videos

Watch these short videos related to the exhibition:

Audio Descriptions and Translation

The following audio descriptions are available for visitors to the exhibition:

Robert Weingarten's American Icons from Pushing Boundaries Portraits by Robert Weingarten
Running time: 32:25
In this section, the fifteen portraits-or visual biographies- in the exhibition, are described along side the section labels. The curator of the exhibition provides the visual descriptions.
Download (mp3)

Weingarten Biography
Running time: 05:13
Weingarten's Self-Portrait and two other photographs are described to provide background about the photographer and the project.
Download (mp3)

Historical Portraits
Running time: 20:33
The twenty-eight photographs from the Photographic History Collection that explore the history of portraiture, digital photography and combination printing are described. The descriptions and section labels are also read by the curator of the exhibition.
Download (mp3)

Guía en español

Download a Spanish-language translation of the exhibition content (21.8MB PDF).

Portrait Collaboration

The National Museum of American History and photographer Robert Weingarten worked in collaboration to build a historic portrait with help from the public. Starting May 7, 2012, visitors had the chance to learn about five significant individuals in American history and then vote for their favorite. The winning subject was "Queen of Salsa" Celia Cruz. Once a winner was announced, the public had further opportunity to contribute to Weingarten’s unique process of visual biography. The finished portrait was displayed at the Smithsonian in fall 2012. Learn more on the Museum's blog.