In honor of the National Portrait Gallery’s 50th anniversary, the museum has announced the newly founded Director’s Essay Prize. The biennial award will foster leading research and will support emerging scholars whose expertise includes the field of visual biography and American portraiture. The award includes a cash prize of $3,000 for the author of a published essay that explores and enriches the interdisciplinary nature of American art, biography, history and cultural identity. The recipient will be asked to present a paper on their essay topic at the National Portrait Gallery during an award ceremony in fall 2019.
To qualify, scholarly essays must be under 12,000 words and must have been published in print or online within the past two years (details below). The award is by nomination only, and authors and publishers may not self-nominate.