This month, together with the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the National Portrait Gallery revealed their portrait of Henrietta Lacks by artist Kadir Nelson. Though Lacks was relatively unknown to many after her young death from cancer, it was her cells that become famous (and controversial). Lacks was the source of “immortal” line of human cells. Though she never gave consent for the collection of her cells, these cells, known as “HeLa” cells, led to major advancements in medicine and healthcare.
Henrietta Lacks’ family visited the museum earlier this month to see the portrait firsthand - and to celebrate the life of an important woman in science.
Students can view this portrait and many more at the National Portrait Gallery on a school trip to Washington, D.C. - we have extensive options to make your Washington, D.C. itinerary perfectly tailored for your students’ interests. For more information on planning a school trip to Washington, D.C., please browse our tours.