One Year: 1968, An American Odyssey at National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, June 29, 2018 – May 19, 2019

“The year 1968 was a time of revolutionary change in the United States. Americans across disciplines put forth new ways of thinking that overturned the status quo and influenced the events that transpired over those twelve months. Coincidentally, the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery also opened to the public that year. In celebration of the museum’s 50th anniversary, “One Year: 1968, An American Odyssey,” curated by Portrait Gallery Historian James Barber, will present a time capsule of a diverse group of figures whose legacies continue to affect the nation in ineffaceable ways.

This one-room exhibition of 30 objects includes photographs, paintings, prints, drawings and magazines that highlight a time when Americans were questioning issues of leadership, citizenship and nationhood. In 1968, the Vietnam War reached a turning point, a Civil Rights Act was signed into law, and viewers followed everything from the Olympic Games to the first manned orbit of the moon live on television. Political and social change was sweeping across America. Newsmakers included President Lyndon B. Johnson, Robert F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., and Richard M. Nixon, in addition to such cultural icons as Arthur Ashe, Joan Didion, Peggy Fleming, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Vince Lombardi, Sidney Poitier, and the three Apollo 8 astronauts.” — National Portrait Gallery

Gun in America by Roy Lichtenstein. Screenprint on acetate, 1968. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Time Magazine © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein

Astronauts by Hector Garrido. Watercolor, pencil and tempera on Masonite, 1968. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Time magazine © Hector Garrido

Johnson as Lear by David Levine. Ink and graphite pencil on paper, 1967. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Time magazine © David Levine, courtesy Eve and Matthew Levine

Hippies by The Group Image. Tempera and photo collage on board, 1967. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of an anonymous donor

Stokely Carmichael and H. Rap Brown by James E. Hinton, Jr. Gelatin silver print, 1968 (printed 2001). National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution © The Estate of James E. Hinton

Eldridge Cleaver by Stephen Shames. Gelatin silver print, 1968. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; © Stephen Shames

Joan Didion by Julian Wasser. Gelatin silver print, 1970. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution © Julian Wasser

Jimi Hendrix by Unidentified Artist. Color photolithographic poster on paper. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

Tommie Smith and John Carlos by Unidentified Artist. Gelatin silver print, 1968. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

Images courtesy National Portrait Gallery.