Smithsonian Collections

Willie Nelson

Image for Willie Nelson
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
Exhibition Label
Born Abbott, Texas
A prolific songwriter and nonstop performer, musician Willie Nelson has managed to remain vital and creative for nearly fifty years. Constantly adapting to new musical tastes and influences as his career has progressed, Nelson has evolved from his roots in straight country music in the 1950s, assimilated rock and roll to create the Outlaw Revolution of the 1970s, and currently maintains his role as the pater familias of American popular music. Nelson even produced a bestselling album of jazz ballads with Stardust (1978). His songwriting credits include "Funny How Time Slips Away," "Hello Walls," and "Crazy." Nelson has been active in the reform of marijuana laws and in Farm Aid, and has also had serious problems with the IRS, which finally seem to have been reconciled. Despite his advocacy of and copious use of marijuana, he is a dedicated long-distance runner and has become an American icon.
Michael O'Brien, born 27 Jun 1950
Willie Nelson, born 30 Apr 1933
1999 (printed 2009)
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Bill and Sally Wittliff
Gelatin silver print
Image: 37.8 x 37.4 cm (14 7/8 x 14 3/4")
Sheet: 50.5 x 40.5 cm (19 7/8 x 15 15/16")
Mat: 71.1 x 55.9 cm (28 x 22")
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Object number
Willie Nelson: Male
Willie Nelson: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician
Willie Nelson: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Songwriter
United States\Texas\Burnet\Spicewood
Restrictions & Rights
© Michael O'Brien