Joining the only complete collection of presidential portraits outside of the White House, a painting of Kevin Spacey as “House of Cards” president Frank Underwood was unveiled at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery Monday night.
The portrait is a collaboration between British artist Jonathan Yeo and the D.C. museum.
Yeo, regarded as one of the preeminent portrait artists of his generation, has painted British Prime Minister David Cameron, actors Dennis Hopper and Nicole Kidman, and activist Malala Yousafzai, among others.
When the Smithsonian asked Yeo to contribute a portrait of Spacey to their collection, the artist visited the set of Netflix’s “House of Cards” and was inspired by the impact of the show and Underwood’s character on popular culture. Yeo and Spacey, supported by the museum’s curators, decided that the subject should be President Underwood seated at the Oval Office desk, according to a Netflix release.
“When the Smithsonian’s Portrait Gallery first approached Jonathan and me about a portrait of me — the actor — I wanted to see if Jonathan could unveil a fully rendered presidential portrait,” Spacey said in a release. “It is a real honor to be exhibited at the Smithsonian and a thrill to see Frank take his place among the presidents in this historic setting.”
The portrait unveiling comes as the Emmy-nominated show is about to launch its fourth season March 4.
“It is a great honor to see one of our most renowned series’ characters immortalized in the National Portrait Gallery, alongside such esteemed presidential portraits,” Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said in a release. “We have watched as the character of Frank Underwood has taken hold in popular culture and this wonderful portrait by Jonathan Yeo is a fine testament to the impact of the character that Kevin Spacey has created.”
The portrait will hang on public display at the National Portrait Gallery starting Wednesday, through October.