Chief curator and curator of painting and sculpture, National Portrait Gallery
Brandon Brame Fortune is chief curator and curator of painting and sculpture at the National Portrait Gallery. She has worked in the department since 1987. Fortune organized the first two triennial Outwin Boochever Portrait Competitions (2006 and 2009) and continues to serve as one of the jurors. In 2008 she served as co-curator for Recognize! Hip-Hop and Contemporary Portraiture. Fortune is also chair of the curatorial team charged with creating the “Portraiture Now” series of exhibitions, which includes Drawing on the Edge, Asian American Portraits of Encounter, and Framing Memory.
In 1999 Fortune served as co-curator of the exhibition Franklin & His Friends: Portraying the Man of Science in Eighteenth-Century America and author of the accompanying publication. Her primary research includes eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American portraiture, such as the work of Charles Willson Peale, and women portraitists of the later nineteenth century. She is a co-curator for the 2014 exhibition Face Value: Portraiture in the Age of Abstraction. Fortune graduated from Agnes Scott College and received a master’s degree and doctorate in art history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.