Lonely Planet Writer

See Beyoncé at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington

A portrait of singer-songwriter Beyoncé Knowles will soon be on display at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, and it will become part of its permanent collection.

Singer-songwriter Beyoncé Knowles on stage
You'll be able to see Beyoncé at the National Portrait Gallery. Image: Larry Busacca/PW/WireImage for Parkwood Entertainment.

The portrait was part of a set of images shot by photographer Tyler Mitchell, who was then aged 23, for Vogue’s 2018 September issue. The image shows Beyoncé, who took over the famous French art museum, the Louvre, last year to film her Apesh*t video with Jay-Z, wearing a sparkly Valentino dress and dramatic Philip Treacy headpiece as her arms rest on a white column crowned with flowers. New York-based Tyler is the first African-American photographer and one of the youngest photographers ever to shoot a cover for Vogue.


The gallery's collections present people of remarkable character and achievement who form the US's national identity. Its mission is to tell the country's story by portraying the people who shape its history, development and culture. Mitchell was chosen by Beyoncé herself to carry out the magazine shoot, and in the accompanying interview, she explained that she wanted to work with him because she hoped to “open doors for younger artists, particularly those from diverse backgrounds." The gallery responded to Tyler's tweet announcing the news by saying, “We're just so crazy in love with her that we had to do it!”

Travel News - Beyonce 2
Beyoncé and Jay-Z in front of the Mona Lisa in the Louvre, Paris. Image by Apesh*t/YouTube

According to Leslie Ureña, associate curator of photographs at the National Portrait Gallery, acquiring the portrait will "allow us to document a significant shift in the history of fashion photography through the depiction of a key figure in American culture.” For further information on the acquisition, see the gallery's website here.