Comedic sketch artist Stephen Colbert has drawn tons of attention (a good thing) to the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. His portrait, which has hung there in btween the bathrooms and over the water fountain, will be taken down April Fool’s Day after being on view for 2 1/2 months.
Stephen Colbert, born 1964
Born Washington, D.C.
Stephen Colbert, the mock pundit for the Comedy Central show The Colbert Report recently contacted the National Portrait Gallery hoping to donate this portrait of himself from his show. While this triple portrait is not one that would typically be accessioned into the Portrait Gallery’s permanent collection, NPG agreed to go along with the joke and hang the portrait for a limited time.
In episodes of The Colbert Report that aired on January 10, 14, and 15, 2008, Colbert tries to convince the Smithsonian that he should be considered a national treasure. He attempts to donate his portrait to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, but the museum’s director suggests that perhaps Colbert should speak to the National Portrait Gallery. Finally, after much “discussion,” the director of the National Portrait Gallery finds an appropriate place to hang Colbert’s portrait, in between the bathrooms and above the water fountain.
Photo: (Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo)
“We agreed to go along with the joke and hang it for a short time in between the bathrooms,” said museum spokeswoman Bethany Bentley. “Let me tell you two key things here: His portrait is not coming into the collection, and it’s not hanging permanently.”