Face-to-Face: Dashiell Hammett portrait

About the Project

As part of the National Portrait Gallery's education program "Face-to-Face," NPG historian David Ward discusses writer Dashiell Hammett. Inspired to try his hand at writing mysteries after his years with the Pinkerton Detective Agency, Dashiell Hammett met a warm reception when he published his first two detective novels in 1929. But it was the appearance of The Maltese Falcon a year later that secured him his reputation as one of America's most original mystery writers. The hard-bitten realism and crisp dialogue of that work led critics to compare its author's style to that of Ernest Hemingway. You can see the portrait of Hammett by artist Edward Biberman in the "Twentieth-Century Americans" exhibition on the museum's third floor. Recorded at NPG, October 16, 2008. Image info: Samuel Dashiell Hammett / Edward Biberman, 1937 / National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution /Copyright 1937 Edward Biberman. Face-to-Face talk currently located on the National Portrait Gallery's iTunesU page. ["Samuel Dashiell Hammett" by Edward Biberman. NPG.85.1]

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