An Exhibition of Secretaries' Portraiture Honors the Institution's History

Usage Conditions Apply
The Smithsonian Institution Archives welcomes personal and educational use of its collections unless otherwise noted. For commercial uses, please contact


As I. Michael Heyman becomes the tenth Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution in 1994, the author reflects on the portraits of Heyman's predecessors. Located on second and third floor areas of the Castle building, each portrait is described, name of the artist is noted (with the exceptions of Langley and Walcott), and mention is made that each portrait has a biographical label affixed to it. On loan from the National Portrait Gallery, the portraits are arranged chronologically, but for two exceptions: William Jervis Hough [in family portrait], one of the first Smithsonian Regents who was interim Secretary for three months beginning in September 1846, and Joseph Henry, who was installed as first Smithsonian Secretary three months later.


  • Wilcox, J. Brayton
  • Ulke, Henry
  • Silverman, Burt 1928-
  • Murray, Albert K
  • Hough, William Jervis 1795-1869
  • Heyman, Ira Michael 5/30/1930-11/19/2011
  • Ripley, Sidney Dillon 1913-2001
  • Wetmore, Alexander 1886-
  • Abbot, C. G (Charles Greeley) b. 1872
  • Walcott, Charles D (Charles Doolittle) 1850-1927
  • Langley, S. P (Samuel Pierpont) 1834-1906
  • Adams, Robert McCormick 1926-2018
  • Baird, Spencer Fullerton 1823-1887
  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • Carmichael, Leonard 1898-1973
  • Brewer, Nicholas Richard
  • Board of Regents
  • Smithsonian Institution Building (Washington, D.C.)
  • National Portrait Gallery (U.S.)


Smithsonian Institution History Bibliography


Two portraits are included with the article: one of the William Jarvis Hough Family and one of Joseph Henry.

Contained within

Smithsonian Preservation Quarterly (Newsletter)

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,


Fall 1994


  • Secretaries
  • Portraits
  • Artists
  • Biography

Physical description

pp. 6 & 7

Full Record

View Full Record