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In Mid-Sentence


  • National Portrait Gallery 8th St NW & F St NW, Washington, DC 20001 (map)
Diane Arbus  (detail) by Stephen A. Frank, 1970 Gelatin silver print, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

Diane Arbus (detail) by Stephen A. Frank, 1970 Gelatin silver print, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

Exhibit: May 3, 2019 - Mar 29, 2020; Daily 11:30am-7pm, Admission: free

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. 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. An illustrated brochure accompanies the exhibition, and several of the represented speeches are included in an interactive kiosk. The exhibition is curated by Leslie Ureña, associate curator of photographs, National Portrait Gallery.