Julie Packard portrait by Hope Gangloff, acrylic on canvas in front of the Kelp Forest exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium

Credit: Julie Packard by Hope Gangloff, acrylic on canvas, 2019. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. Gift of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Board of Trustees. © Hope Gangloff. Photo by Mark Gulezian / Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery

She's the second woman in marine science to be included in the museum.

As an advocate for women in science, it's fitting that Executive Director Julie Packard has been honored as an ocean conservation leader by one of the nation's historic art museums.

The Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery commissioned a portrait of Julie, which debuted on April 23. The vividly colored painting is by New York City-based artist Hope Gangloff.

Julie is only the second woman in the marine sciences and conservation — along with Rachel Carson — to be included in the museum. Hope said that Julie's commitment to protecting the ocean inspired her during her visits to the Aquarium. The painting reflects the artist's affinity for large-scale canvases and bright color palettes, and features the Aquarium's aquatic life in addition to Julie.

"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 Brandon Brame Fortune, the museum's chief curator. “This painting...is Hope Gangloff’s first major museum commission. It was a pleasure to bring these two women figures together to create a piece of history."

The museum also praised Julie for having “redefined aquariums as a force for conservation. Under her direction, the Monterey Bay Aquarium has expanded the public's world view by bringing new marine life to light — from jellies to a living kelp forest, deep-sea animals to the open sea. Since the 1980s, the institution has developed as a leader of public engagement in the field of environmental science."