spacer J. Edgar Hoover
Me? Even I don't investigate Me!
J. Edgar Hoover 1895-1972

Sorel's heavy-jowled avenging angel--outfitted with fake halo and flying apparatus--depicted J. Edgar Hoover, who, after forty-seven years as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, was ripe for satire. The legendary "G-man" had transformed a weak, politics-ridden agency into the highly efficient and nearly mythic FBI, capturing public imagination during the gangster era. His exploits inspired comic strips, radio programs, and gossip column daily updates. But Hoover's fervent anti-radicalism fueled mounting criticism of his high-handed techniques. His secret surveillance of American citizens bothered many. Sorel's drawing of Hoover--part chubby putto and part obsessive paranoid--illustrated a critical article in a 1971 journal of the American lithographers' union.

Lithographic crayon, 1971
Original illustration for Lithopinion, summer 1971
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Washington, D.C.
© Edward Sorel

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