Private Tour of the American History Smithsonian with Director Marc Pachter
A private tour of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History with Marc Pachter, director of the museum.
Marc Pachter was appointed interim director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History effective Aug. 15 and will serve until a permanent director is named.
In 2007, Pachter retired from the Smithsonian Institution after a 33-year career, most recently as director of the National Portrait Gallery, the nation’s only museum of American biography and portraiture.
Previously he served as acting director of the National Museum of American History for 13 months (November 2001-December 2002). During his tenure, Pachter facilitated the work of a Blue Ribbon Commission charged with making recommendations for the future of the museum. Under his leadership, the museum completed planning and design for the renovation of the center core, which was the first phase of the ongoing transformation of the building. He also oversaw the acquisition and display of Julia Child’s kitchen as well as the opening of “Sept. 11: Bearing Witness to History,” an exhibition that debuted on the first anniversary of the attacks and then traveled across the U.S.
As director of the Portrait Gallery, Pachter oversaw the reopening of the museum, part of the Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture, after an extensive six-year renovation of the National Historic Landmark building. Other highlights of Pachter’s tenure at the Portrait Gallery included raising $30 million to purchase the Gilbert Stuart’s “Lansdowne” portrait of George Washington, doubling the size of the “America’s Presidents” exhibition, establishing permanent galleries for portraits from people in sports and entertainment, and creating the first national portrait competition.
Joining the Portrait Gallery staff in 1974 as its chief historian and assistant director, Pachter, a cultural historian, began a program called Living Self Portraits in which he interviewed well-known personalities.
From 1990 to 1994, he was the Smithsonian’s deputy assistant secretary for external affairs, overseeing Smithsonian magazine, Smithsonian Institution Press, and membership and development programs. Later he was appointed counselor to the Secretary of the Smithsonian and chair of the Institution’s 150th anniversary in 1996. He was awarded the Secretary’s Gold Medal for Distinguished Service in 1999.
Pachter has written and edited a number of books, including Abroad in America: Visitors to the New Nation, Champions of American Sport, Documentary History of the Supreme Court, Telling Lives: The Biographer’s Art and A Gallery of Presidents.
He graduated summa cum laude from the University of California at Berkeley and later was a Five-Year Prize Fellow in American History at Harvard University, where he taught colonial history, served as a tutor in the honors program and performed research in American intellectual and cultural history.
Monday, June 18 at 5:30 PM
National Museum of American History, 1400 Constitution Avenue Entrance (near Fed. Triangle)
Register by June 18 at 8:00 AM
Registration Closed For This Event
Register for Event
*Legal notice: There will be alcohol at some Yale in Washington events. For those under 21 who attend events open to all ages where alcohol is served, such as happy hours and barbeques, you are reminded that the law forbids anyone under 21 from consuming alcohol. Students in attendance at these events acknowledge that Yale University is not responsible for, and will be held harmless against, any injury, loss, or other damage arising from or related in any manner to a student who does not abide by this law.