Vintage

American Cool' at National Portrait Gallery Picks the 100 Coolest Americans (PHOTOS)

In an effort to define what is "cool," the National Portrait Gallery in D.C. has chosen 100 American icons that it thinks embodies the national concept. See a selection of them here.

Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation

Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation

"Deborah Harry," 1978, Robert Mapplethorpe

Collection of the artist © Kate Simon

"Madonna," 1983, Kate Simon

The Estee Stanley Private Collection © Roger Marshutz, courtesy Peter Marshutz and the Fahey/Klein Gallery, Los Angeles, CA.

"Elvis Presley," 1956, Roger Marshutz

National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of the photographer, Linda McCartney ©1967 Paul McCartney / Photographer: Linda McCartney.

"Jimi Hendrix," 1967, Linda McCartney

National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution © Philippe Halsman Archive

"Audrey Hepburn," 1955, Philippe Halsman

National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Mr. and Mrs. Roy Schatt © Roy Schatt

"James Dean," 1954, Roy Schatt

National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; purchased with funds from an anonymous donor

"Frederick Douglass," 1856, Unidentified Artist

National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; acquired through the generosity of Norman and Beverly Cox in honor of their daughter Cara

"Jean-Michel Basquiat," 1986, Dmitri Kasterine

National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Mr. and Mrs. Bob Willoughby © Bob Willoughby

"Billie Holiday," 1951, Bob Willoughby

Fahey/Klein Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; © William Claxton Estate, courtesy Fahey/Klein Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

"Steve McQueen," 1962, William Claxton