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Washington, DC | Curator-led tour of “1898: U.S. Imperial Visions and Revisions” National Portrait Gallery

September 19, 2023 | 10:00 am 11:00 am

Queen Liliʻuokalani_Harris & Ewing Studio (active 1905–1977) 1908 Gelatin silver print 37.4 × 28.8 cm (14 3/4 × 11 5/16 in.) National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Aileen Conkey

Join co-curators Taína Caragol and Kate Lemay for an exclusive tour of “1898: U.S. Imperial Visions and Revisions” at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery! “That single year launched the United States on a path that would end with the annexation of Hawaii, intervention in Cuba, and the invasions of Puerto Rico, the Philippines and Guam—profound geopolitical changes resulting from U.S. domination during the Philippine-American War (1899-1902) and the Spanish-American War (April to August 1898), now often referred to as the War of 1898.”—Maya Wei-Haas, The Smithsonian Magazine.

Portraiture is part of how we represent ourselves, and how we memorialize our historic public figures from the heroic to the problematic. 125 years after this extensive series of conflicts, the U.S. continues to grapple with its imperial legacy. The Smithsonian exhibition revisits these representations from multiple, culturally-complex perspectives, “and recognizes that the Smithsonian Institution’s collecting practices legitimized the imperial project.”

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Image: Queen Liliʻuokalani;. Harris & Ewing Studio (active 1905–1977). 1908 Gelatin silver print 37.4 × 28.8 cm (14 3/4 × 11 5/16 in.) National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Aileen Conkey.

Thank you to ArtTable member Laura Roulet for initiating this program.

National Portrait Gallery

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About the Curators

Taína Caragol

Taína Caragol, Curator of Painting and Sculpture and Latino Art and History, joined the National Portrait Gallery in 2013 as the first curator for Latino art and history and her role was expanded to curator of painting and sculpture in 2015. Caragol has led the effort to increase the representation of Latino historical figures and artists at the museum, adding over 170 portraits to the collection and ensuring that Latino contributions to American history and art are interwoven through the museum’s exhibitions and permanent collection.

In 2014, she was the lead curator for “Portraiture Now: Staging the Self,” which examined the forces that shape identity–from friendships, to gender dynamics, and histories of migration–through the work of contemporary Latino artists. In 2015, she curated “One Life: Dolores Huerta,” exploring Huerta’s role as co-architect of the farm workers movement with César Chávez. She co-curated “The Face of Battle: Americans at War, 9/11 to Now” (2017) and “UnSeen: Our Past in a New Light, Ken Gonzales-Day and Titus Kaphar” (2018).

Previously, Caragol was the curator of education at Museo de Arte de Ponce, Puerto Rico, where she organized the museum’s symposium on Pre-Raphaelite art and led a program of talks with contemporary Puerto Rican artists. She was the Museum of Modern Art’s Latin American bibliographer from 2004-2007, and she worked as a postdoctoral researcher for Latin American Art in the United Kingdom: History, Historiography, Specificity, 1960 to the Present, an investigation led by the University of Essex (2007–2008).

Caragol earned her PhD in art history from the City University of New York. Her dissertation “Boom and Dust: The Rise of Latin American and Latino Art in New York Exhibition Venues and Auction Houses, 1970s–1980s,” examined the incubating role of New York City’s alternative museums and art spaces and market during the “Latin American art boom” of the late 1980s. Her essay on Kehinde Wiley’s portrait of President Barack Obama was published in The Obama Portraits in February 2020 (Princeton University Press / National Portrait Gallery).

Kate Clarke Lemay

Kate Clarke Lemay, Historian, joined the National Portrait Gallery in 2015. She is a Fulbright Scholar; a Presidential Counselor to the National WWII Museum; and the founding director of PORTAL, the Portrait Gallery’s scholarly center. Lemay also served as the founding coordinating curator for the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative. In 2019, Lemay curated “Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence” to usher in the centennial of the U.S. American women’s suffrage anniversary. She published its eponymous catalogue with Princeton University Press which was awarded the 2021 Smithsonian Secretary’s Prize for Excellence in Research and the 2020 Amelia Bloomer Book Award from the American Library Association.

In 2017, Lemay’s first book Triumph of the Dead: American WWII Cemeteries, Monuments and Diplomacy in France was awarded the Terra Foundation in American Art publication grant. In 2018, she served as guest editor for The International Journal of Military History and Historiography. She has published essays on art and military history for the University of North Texas Press, Oxford University Press, The Strategy Bridge, Zócalo Public Square, Reviews in American History, and the Marine Corps University PressLemay’s research has been supported by a Terra Foundation in American Art predoctoral fellowship at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, a fellowship in American Modernism at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Research Center, and a fellowship from the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique at the Caen Mémorial Museum in France. Lemay served as the lead historian for the transformation of the museum’s landmark exhibition “America’s Presidents” (2017). Her other exhibitions include “Marlene Dietrich: Dressed for the Image” (2017).

Before joining the National Portrait Gallery, Lemay was an assistant professor of art history at Auburn University Montgomery and visiting assistant professor of the history of modern and contemporary art at Brigham Young University. She earned a dual PhD in American art history and American studies from Indiana University (Bloomington).

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