The 2019 American Portrait Gala

by Ken Davids

The National Portrait Gallery announces a high-profile lineup of presenters and awardees for the 2019 American Portrait Gala.

Michelle Obama
James Corden
Anna Wintour
Alberto Ibargüen
Earth, Wind & Fire
Frances Arnold
Clive Davis
France Córdova
Lin-Manuel Miranda
Indra Nooyi
Jeff Bezos

Greatly anticipated as one of the highest-profile cultural and social events in D.C., this year’s American Portrait Gala features a distinguished lineup of presenters and awardees. Since its inception in 2015, the biennial gala — the third of its kind — has operated with the primary goal of bringing together the nation’s most prominent and respected voices to raise funds for the museum’s exhibition endowment.

“The Portrait Gallery is focused on bringing together people of different backgrounds and disciplines who have impacted American history and culture,” Kim Sajet, director of the National Portrait Gallery said. “We look forward to this stellar lineup of presenters sharing their thoughts and memories of each honoree. We are also delighted to bring new elements to this year’s gala including an honorary fashion designer.”

During the course of the evening, the Smithsonian museum will be awarding its “Portrait of a Nation Prize” to six honorees. The award celebrates high achievements in the worlds of business, fashion, media, performing arts and science.

Portrait of a Nation Prize. Photo Courtesy of The Smithsonian Institute

Full List of Presenters and Awardees:

  • Gayle King, award-winning journalist and 2019 American Portrait Gala Master of Ceremonies.
  • Michelle Obama, former First Lady, to Lin-Manuel Miranda, award-winning composer, lyricist, actor and creator of the Tony Award-winning musicals In The Heights and Hamilton: An American Musical

  • Preston Bezos, son, to Jeffrey P. Bezos, founder of Amazon and Blue Origin, owner of the Washington Post, tech entrepreneur and philanthropist

  • James Corden, actor, comedian and television host of The Late Late Show, to Anna Wintour, artistic director of Condé Nast and editor-in-chief of Vogue

  • France Córdova, astrophysicist and director of the National Science Foundation, to Frances Arnold, scientist, engineer and Nobel Laureate

  • Clive Davis, Grammy Award-winning music industry executive and member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, to Earth, Wind & Fire, award-winning American band

  • Alberto Ibargüen, president and CEO of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, to Indra Nooyi, business executive and named by Forbes as one of world’s 100 most powerful women

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