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'Landslide' Votes For Clemente Earn Him Spot At National Portrait Gallery

Teenie Harris
National Portrait Gallery
Pittsburgh Pirates player Roberto Clemente's portrait will hang in the National Portrait gallery following his win by popular vote.

A picture of Roberto Clemente warming up on field back in 1960 is being featured through November 1st at the National Portrait Gallery after being chosen by voters worldwide.


The picture taken during that world series season by Teenie Harris was put head to head with shots of two other baseball legends; Babe Ruth and Sandy Koufax, in a project know as “Recognize.”


“We want to public to tell us who should be recognized for their contributions to American Culture,” said Portrait Gallery Associate Director of Education Rebecca Kasemeyer.  “I think Roberto Clemente is a wonderful example of an incredible athlete and an incredible, tireless humanitarian.”


Kasemeyer thinks it was that combination that helped Clemente win “by a landslide.”


She said the photo itself also helped.  The composition of Teenie Harris’s picture draws the viewer into Clemente’s eyes.  The portrait of Ruth was a group shot with other players and the Koufax portrait caught him in mid-pitch.


The individuals were chosen by the staff in from material already in the Gallery’s possession and then based on the subject’s accomplishments.  “These three rose to the top immediately,” Kasemeyer said.


The same program in the past has honored Georgia O'Keeffe above two other artists and George Carlin from among a set of three comedians.



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