Photo by Paul Morigi for AP/National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery recognizes the creative and talented life of Martha Mayer Erlebacher (1937-2013). Her courageous self-portrait was a finalist in the 2013 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition and she gracefully discussed her work with us in March of this year, even as she was coming to the end of her life.
Erlebacher's work embodies the spirit of the competition--she was challenged daily by her illness, yet she received acclaim in her final months for producing a work that portrayed her strength at her most vulnerable moment. In her portrait, we observe her fierce and perfectly human willingness to see her life through with dignity, zeal, and art. Erlebacher's portrait received a special commendation from the OBPC jury.