Launched in 2006 to support the next wave of contemporary portraiture in the United States, the National Portrait Gallery’s celebrated Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition is a major survey of the best of American portraiture. Held every three years, and now in its sixth edition, The Outwin: American Portraiture Today presents forty-two works — selected from over 2,700 entries — foregrounding the vibrancy and relevance of portraiture now. In addition to paintings, photographs, drawings, and sculptures, The Outwin includes video, performance art, and textiles, highlighting the seemingly limitless possibilities of contemporary portraiture.
Open to both emerging and established artists, this year’s entrants were encouraged to submit work that moves beyond traditional definitions of portraiture and engages with the social and political landscape of our time.
The competition is endowed by and named for Virginia Outwin Boochever (1920 – 2005) who, for nineteen years, volunteered as a docent at the Portrait Gallery.
This exhibition has been organized by the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. The competition and exhibition are made possible by the Virginia Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition Endowment, established by Virginia Outwin Boochever and sustained by her family.
The Ackland’s exhibition is supported in part by Caroline and Arthur Rogers.