Second season ‘Colbert Report’ portrait being taken down at National Museum of American History

If you’re in the Washington, D.C. area and haven’t taken a few moments of your time to see the second season portrait from the ‘Colbert Report’ hanging in the National Museum of American History, you have one more day to haul it down there and check it out.

From the blog:

Last Chance to See Stephen Colbert’s Portrait


Colbert first met with museum director Brent Glass to tour the “Treasures of American History” exhibit and convince him to include the portrait. After losing a bet, Glass rejected the portrait’s inclusion, and Colbert moves on. He headed over to the National Portrait Gallery where he met with former director Marc Pachter who agrees to hang the portrait above a drinking fountain for six weeks.

But it didn’t end there. After the six weeks was over, Glass reconsidered. He called to say that Colbert is, in fact, a national treasure. The portrait hung in the museum’s temporary exhibit space in the National Air and Space museum. After the American History museum reopened in November 2008, it hung the portrait in its current location.

Full text of article

Tomorrow is the last day that the portrait will be displayed, so if you haven’t made the pilgrimage to see the portrait yet, I would highly advise calling in sick tomorrow. You *do* feel a cold coming on, don’t you? (cough, cough)

And, just because it makes me happy, here’s Stephen’s first meeting with Brent Glass and the legendary “Prince Dance” video. Everyone be quiet during this part.


  1. MaryLovesColbert says:

    Wait, wait, wait. I’m confused. Didn’t that guy say on Stephen’s anniversary show last fall that his portrait would be in the collection forever? I’m probably reading something wrong here, but I thought it was in the collection for good. They’re just taking it down?

  2. To quote Stephen, “Nation, I am angry!”

    I can’t believe there is no reason why. I, fortunately, saw it over the inauguration weekend and have my photo but was hoping to go back when the museum wasn’t as crowded and take a better one. So many people were taking their pic next to it that it is hard for me to imagine why they would take it down if it is such a draw. [And it is next to the bathroom!]

    Perhaps, and this is just me trying to be optimistic, it will be part of a traveling exhibit–touring museums around the US as part of a Smithsonian installation?!

    I hope this comes up on the show! Would love to see Stephen’s reaction!

  3. Oh the Prince dance is one of my favorite things ever.
    Anyway, I’m with MaryLovesColbert, wasn’t put in the collection for good?

  4. Nooooo!! They can’t take it down yet, I haven’t seen it!

    I’m pretty sure they did add the portrait to the museum’s permanent collection, but I don’t know if that also means it would be permanently on display. I guess not.

  5. I left my comment there. If enough people complain, then maybe they’ll change their minds.

  6. Verbal Typo says:

    Noooooooooo I never got to see it :C

  7. What?! I don’t understand.

    My mom’s gonna be pissed. She loves Stephen *almost* as much as I do, and she and my dad are going to DC on vacation next month. She was planning on seeing the portrait.

  8. I think *somebody’s* going to be put On Notice soon.

  9. I also thought it was going to be in their permanent collection. Wish they would’ve given a reason for why it’s being taken down… I wonder now if it will just be auctioned off for charity, like the last one?

    • I’m not sure if its in the permanent collection, but let me add this–just because something is in the permanent collection doesn’t mean its showed.

      Their archive is huge and I assume they only have a very low percentage of their collection on display.

      • Oh, I see. It just seems weird to picture a storage room full of “treasures” that aren’t being shown.

        This American treasure should, of course, be prominently displayed at all times!

      • ColbertGirl27 says:

        I work in the museum/archives world and I agree that this is definitely a possibility, but if this is the case, why didn’t they specify this in the article?

  10. darn! that was among my list of sights to see the next time I go to DC (the last time I was there was a couple of rushed hours.)

    like…the White House…all the memorials…museums…COLBERT PORTRAIT FTW. darn. at least I have the poster hanging on my wall, because in college it’s cool do to stuff like that.

  11. What?! I was in DC this summer, and didn’t bother going to the Portrait Gallery because I thought the portrait had been taken down ages ago!

  12. I left a comment over on their site. What on earth are they thinking?! The only thing that would make it OK, is if Stephen is going to auction it off for charity.

    We were in DC last year in October, and the portrait was between the Portrait Gallery and the American History museum. We just missed seeing it by a couple of weeks. I figured the next time I go to DC I’d see it. But nooooooo. They’re taking it down. Shame on them. I’m so bummed. I live in CA, so it’s not exactly handy to go to DC.

    ReCaptcha: to reneged

  13. Also, re-watching that clip (so funny!) reminds me of the bracket contest a year or so ago, DB. I can’t really remember when you did that, but it was so fun. Even with the cheating. :-)

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