José Andrés, Clive Davis, Ava DuVernay, Marian Wright Edelman, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Serena Williams, and Venus Williams honored with portraits at 2022 ‘Portrait of a Nation’ Gala
The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery held its 2022 ‘Portrait of a Nation’ Gala on Saturday, November 12 in Washington, D.C., where this year’s seven honorees were feted for their transformative contributions to the country. The 2022 honorees are:
- José Andrés, internationally recognized humanitarian, culinary innovator, New York Times bestselling author, educator and founder of World Central Kitchen
- Clive Davis, Grammy Award-winning music industry executive and member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
- Ava DuVernay, Academy Award nominee, Emmy, BAFTA and Peabody Award-winning filmmaker, and founder of ARRAY
- Marian Wright Edelman, activist for children’s rights and founder and president emerita of the Children’s Defense Fund
- Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health and chief of the NIAID Laboratory of Immunoregulation, chief medical advisor to the President, and advisor on global AIDS issues and COVID-19
- Serena Williams, tennis champion, winner of 23 Grand Slam titles and entrepreneur
- Venus Williams, tennis champion, winner of seven Grand Slam titles, entrepreneur and outspoken advocate on equal pay, mental health and physical wellness
The honorees, presenters, and over 750 VIP guests enjoyed cocktails during a private viewing of the Portrait Gallery’s “Portrait of a Nation: 2022 Honorees” exhibition, followed by a seated dinner in the museum’s spectacular Kogod courtyard featuring the award presentations and a special surprise performance by Wynton Marsalis. The evening was hosted by writer, producer, and TV host Baratunde Thurston. The dinner program began with remarks from Kim Sajet, director of the National Portrait Gallery, and Smithsonian Institution Secretary Lonnie Bunch.
Established in 2015 by the National Portrait Gallery, the Portrait of a Nation Award recognizes extraordinary individuals who have made transformative contributions to the United States and its people across numerous fields of endeavor, ranging from the arts and sciences to sports and humanitarianism.
Each honoree received the Portrait of a Nation Award based on their contributions to their respective fields, and whose portraits are either in the Portrait Gallery’s collection or are in the process of being acquired. The museum also looks to acknowledge individuals from diverse backgrounds and disciplines.
Each honoree nominated his or her own presenter, someone with whom they have a close relationship or has affected their careers. The 2022 presenters were:
- Laurene Powell Jobs, founder and president of Emerson Collective, presented to José Andrés
- Alicia Keys, 15-time Grammy Award-winning artist, songwriter, musician, producer and entrepreneur, presented to Clive Davis
- Isabel Wilkerson, Pulitzer Prize winner, National Humanities Medal awardee and New York Times bestselling author, presented to Ava DuVernay
- Hillary Rodham Clinton, former Secretary of State, U.S. Senator (New York), First Lady of the United States, lawyer and activist, presented to Marian Wright Edelman
- David M. Rubenstein, co-founder and co-chairman of The Carlyle Group and philanthropist, presented to Anthony S. Fauci, M.D.
- Mellody Hobson, co-CEO and president of Ariel Investments, presented to Serena Williams
- Sonya Haffey, interior designer and principal of V Starr, and Isha Price, entrepreneur, film producer, philanthropist and CEO of Price Consulting Group LLC, presented to Venus Williams
The 2022 Gala was supported by host committee members Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sánchez, Robert and Arlene Kogod, David Rubenstein accompanied by Caryn Zucker, and Patty Stonesifer and Michael Kinsley; national co-chairs Eduardo J. Ardiles and Joseph P. Ujobai, Lyndon J. Barrois and Janine Sherman Barrois, and Catherine and Michael Podell; and Washington, D.C., co-chairs Kristin and John Cecchi and Susanna and Jack Quinn. The Gala’s founding chairs are Wayne and Catherine Reynolds.
Notable guests in attendance included Speaker Nancy Pelosi, HRH Princess Reema bint Bandar Al Saud (Saudi Arabia), Sec. of the Smithsonian Institution Lonnie G. Bunch, III and Maria Marable-Bunch, Senator Cory Booker, Senator Chris Coons, opera singer Denyce Graves, singer-songwriter Jewel, Calvin Ripken, Jr., film director Ron Howard, Martin Luther King, III, Capitol Hill police officer Caroline Edwards, Secretary Elaine Chao, Rep. Maxine Waters, and Amb. Stuart and Gwen Holliday.
Media stars included Don Lemon and Tim Malone, Bret and Amy Baier, Dana Bash, Philip Rucker, Jeffrey Goldberg, and Symone Sanders.
Honoree portraits from the Portrait Gallery’s collection are on view in the “Portrait of a Nation: 2022 Honorees” exhibition on the museum’s first floor from Nov. 10, 2022, through Oct. 22, 2023. All of the portraits this year will be on view for the first time, including six new commissions and one never-before-shown photograph.
The 2022 portrait artists are: Ruven Afanador (Edelman), Hugo Crosthwaite (Fauci), Kenturah Davis (DuVernay), David Hockney (Davis), Kadir Nelson (Andrés), Toyin Ojih Odutola (S. Williams), and Robert Pruitt (V. Williams).
The “Portrait of a Nation: 2022 Honorees” exhibition was curated by Rhea L. Combs, NPG’s director of curatorial affairs, in collaboration with Taína Caragol, curator of painting, sculpture and Latinx art and history, and Leslie Ureña, curator of photographs.
Proceeds from the gala, which takes place every two years, support the National Portrait Gallery’s endowment for exhibitions and the museum’s commitment to commissioning artworks for its collection by working with contemporary artists.
The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery was established by an Act of Congress in 1962 to recognize the individuals who have had a significant impact on the nation’s history and culture. It opened its doors to the public in 1968.