We’re so excited to share that this beautiful portrait of our Executive Director, Julie Packard, is now on display in the National Portrait Gallery! ❤️🌊
Painted by artist Hope Gangloff, this vividly colored piece is only the second figure of a woman working in the field of marine science and conservation to be featured in the National Portrait Gallery (the first was Rachel Carson).
The Aquarium’s founding executive director, Julie Packard has redefined aquariums as a force for conservation. Under her direction, the Monterey Bay Aquarium has expanded the public’s world view by bringing new marine life to light—from mysterious jellies to a living kelp forest, alien deep-sea animals to the graceful inhabitants of the open sea. With every new exhibition, Julie’s direction aimed to bring people closer to the ocean, encouraging them to protect what they love.
“We are delighted to recognize Julie Packard as one of the leading women in science and for her extraordinary contributions to the field of ocean conservation,” said the National Portrait Gallery’s chief curator, Brandon Brame Fortune. “This painting celebrates the National Portrait Gallery’s 17th commissioned portrait to enter the museum’s collection and is Hope Gangloff’s first major museum commission. It was a pleasure to bring these two women figures together to create a piece of history.”
Hope’s affinity for large-scale and bright color palettes helped her capture a number of the Kelp Forest’s iconic species in the portrait, including the garibaldi, California sheephead, leopard shark and giant sea bass, during her visits to the Aquarium. Her work showcases the rich community of species that call the kelp forest—one of the ocean’s most productive ecosystems—home. Kelp forests are among the many ecosystems protected by California’s world-leading network of Marine Protected Areas, for which Julie was an instrumental advocate.
“I’m honored to join Rachel Carson representing women in the marine sciences and conservation in the National Portrait Gallery. So many other gifted women deserve a place, too, including Jane Lubchenco and Sylvia Earle.”
– Julie Packard
In addition to the National Portrait Gallery commission, Hope created a portrait of Julie’s favorite fish, the ocean sunfish Mola mola, for Julie.
The portrait will be on display at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. through November 2020 as part of the five-year Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative, “Because of Her Story.”
Portrait Credit: Julie Packard by Hope Gangloff, acrylic on canvas, 2019. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. ©Hope Gangloff. Photo by Mark Gulezian / Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery
Learn more about Julie Packard