The Portraits

Staff member working in collections and putting a painting away

George Bush

Artist
Patrick Oliphant, born 1935
Sitter
George Herbert Walker Bush, born 12 Jun 1924
Date
1989
Type
Sculpture
Medium
Bronze on wood base
Dimensions
With Base: 70.5 x 121.9 x 32.7cm (27 3/4 x 48 x 12 7/8")
Without Base: 65.4 x 110.5 x 22.9cm (25 3/4 x 43 1/2 x 9")
Base: 5 x 81.3 x 32.5cm (1 15/16 x 32 x 12 13/16")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Rights
© Pat Oliphant
Object number
NPG.91.25
Exhibition Label
Since the late nineteenth century, the editorial cartoon has played a provocative role in presidential politics, countering partisan advertising with irreverence. Australian-born Pulitzer-Prize winner Pat Oliphant (born 1935) hones a distinctive, repeatable caricature of each incoming president. When each fails to live up to expectations, those exaggerated figures begin to age, sag, shrink, weaken, or bloat. Oliphant has summarized his cartoon depictions of each president since Lyndon Johnson in a series of bronze sculptures. His images of Richard Nixon as a haunting and malevolent Napoleon, Gerald Ford as Band-Aided hollow mask, Jimmy Carter as an insignificant miniature, and George H. W. Bush as a wizened horseshoe player, remind us of the powerful impact of satiric portraiture.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection