‘One Life: Frederick Douglass’ Exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery



06/16/2023 11:30 am - 04/21/2024 7:00 pm




8th Street NW & G Street NW

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“One Life: Frederick Douglass” illuminates the legacy of one of the 19th century’s most influential writers, speakers and intellectuals through prints, photographs and ephemera.

After escaping slavery in 1838, Douglass published three autobiographies and a novella, delivered thousands of speeches, and edited the longest continually running Black newspaper of the 19th century. Always a radical activist, Douglass devoted his life to abolitionism and “all rights for all.” A political insider and policy influencer during the Civil War, he befriended and advised President Lincoln. Crucially, Douglass changed traditional rules of representation by explaining how “true art” (as opposed to insidious caricatures) could be an engine of social change. “One Life: Frederick Douglass” is guest curated by John Stauffer, the Sumner R. and Marshall S. Kates Professor of English and of African and African American Studies at Harvard University. The exhibit will be on view from June 16, 2023, through April 21, 2024, at the National Portrait Gallery.