Picture this: you are at your office’s summer get-together and good old artsy Alice brings up The Old Man and the Sea. Luckily, you came to the National Portrait Gallery’s trivia night. Instead of hiding behind those cheese and crackers because you can’t remember how the book ends, you can chime in with your knowledge of Ernest Hemingway’s unusual cats. Then, of course, the party will let loose into a frenzy of chit-chat about the latest “guitarist cat” on YouTube.
Come to the National Portrait Gallery’s Kogod Courtyard on Wednesday, July 27, to play our new collections-inspired trivia game, Pop Quiz. This month’s Pop Quiz is based on our collection of portraits featuring America’s poets, novelists, and even advice columnists.
With DJ Micah Vellian spinning up some modern sounds at 5:30 and trivia starting at 6:30, you will leave a little smarter knowing that T. C. Boyle’s self-chosen middle name is not “cheeseburger.”
Many of the trivia questions are taken from the label text of portraits that are currently on view in our “Twentieth-Century Americans” exhibition (third floor), so come early to explore the gallery and brush up on your knowledge before donning your thinking cap. If you are a true literary trivia buff, you might even head home with a prize!
If you are ready to go ahead and use your knowledge from American Lit 101, this evening will be right up your alley. To give you a head start, here is a sneak peek at the bonus question, worth 10 points!
Samuel Clemens is better known by his pen name of Mark Twain. His tales of journeys on the Mississippi River, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884) were inspired in part by his own boyhood travels on the river. Twain took his name from the term that was used to signify a certain depth of a river (“mark twain” meaning mark two).
How many feet deep is a “mark twain”?
Pop Quiz trivia occurs once a month in the Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard in the National Portrait Gallery. The next Pop Quiz is “Pet Rocks: American Invention and Innovation” on Wednesday, August 31, at 5:30 p.m.
—Liz Congdon, Public Programs Intern, National Portrait Gallery
Ernest Hemingway / Waldo Peirce / Ink on paper, 1928 / National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Jonathan Peirce
T.C. Boyle / Ken Rosenthal / Gelatin silver print, 1986 / National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Samuel Clemens / John White Alexander / Oil on canvas, 1912 / National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution