To define cool, you might start by listing the names of those who've contributed to pop-culture through their artistic influence or appealing personas. On Feb. 7, the National Portrait Gallery opens "American Cool," a photographic exhibition exploring the idea of cool with 100 portraits of American artists, musicians, actors and other iconic figures. Those featured include Frank Sinatra, Madonna, Miles Davis and Billie Holiday. The exhibit includes work by Carl Van Vechten, Annie Leibovitz and Cass Bird and other photographers.
More than 50 paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures from around 1945 to 1975 by artists Alice Neel, Elaine de Kooning, Robert Rauschenberg, Beauford Delaney, Romare Bearden, Andy Warhol, Fairfield Porter, Alex Katz and Jamie Wyeth.
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National Portrait Gallery - Smithsonian Institution