A Pioneer in Conservation

Julie Packard


Hope Gangloff, Julie Packard, 2019. Gift of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Board of Trustees, National Portrait Gallery, PHOTO Mark Gulezian. © Hope Gangloff


Julie Packard, a leading figure in science and ocean conservation, is the subject of a newly commissioned portrait now on display at the National Portrait Gallery.

Packard is the founding executive director of the Monterey Bay Aquarium and has redefined aquariums as a force for conservation. Under her direction, the aquarium has expanded the public's view of the oceans by bringing new marine life to light--from jellies to a living kelp forest, from deep-sea animals to the open sea.

Brooklyn-based artist Hope Gangloff conceived the portrait of Packard following several visits to the aquarium. The painting reflects Packard's commitment to ocean conservation, the vibrancy of aquatic life and the artist's affinity for large-scale canvases and bright color palettes.

"We are delighted to recognize Julie Packard as one of the leading women in science and for her extraordinary contributions to the field of ocean conservation," said Chief Curator Brandon Brame Fortune. "This painting celebrates the National Portrait Gallery's 17th commissioned portrait to enter the museum's collection and is Gangloff's first major museum commission. It was a pleasure to bring these two women figures together to create a piece of history."

Packard received the 1998 Audubon Medal for Conservation and the 2004 Ted Danson Ocean Hero Award from Oceana. In 2009, she was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and that same year, she was named a California Coastal Hero by the California Coastal Commission and Sunset magazine. Packard also served as a member of the Pew Oceans Commission, a diverse group of U.S. leaders charged with developing recommendations to improve ocean-resource management.

The portrait will remain on view through November 2020.


Fishes Were Julie Packard's Wishes for Her New Smithsonian Portrait