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George Washington Carver

George Washington Carver
Usage Conditions Apply
Artist
Betsy Graves Reyneau, 1888 - 1964
Sitter
George Washington Carver, c. 1864 - 5 Jan 1943
Date
1942
Type
Painting
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
Stretcher: 114.9 x 89.5 x 2.5cm (45 1/4 x 35 1/4 x 1")
Frame: 130.2 x 104.8 x 5.7cm (51 1/4 x 41 1/4 x 2 1/4")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; transfer from the Smithsonian American Art Museum; gift of the George Washington Carver Memorial Committee to the Smithsonian Institution, 1944
Restrictions & Rights
Usage conditions apply
Copyright
© Peter Edward Fayard
Object number
NPG.65.77
Exhibition Label
Born Diamond Grove (formerly Diamond), Missouri
Born into slavery, George Washington Carver overcame the obstacles of slender means and racial discrimination to seek an education. He believed that “when you can do the common things of life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world.” These words, coupled with his lifelong goal to help poor black farmers trapped in sharecropping and dependency on cotton as a crop, pervaded his work at Alabama’s Tuskegee Institute, where he was director of agricultural teaching and research for nearly forty years. Carver’s laboratory investigations led to the discovery of more than 450 new commercial products—ranging from margarine to library paste—that could be extracted from previously untapped sources such as the peanut and sweet potato. He demonstrated for southern farmers the wisdom of diversifying crops, instead of relying mainly on the soil-exhausting crop of cotton.
Nacido en Diamond Grove (antes Diamond), Misuri
Nacido esclavo, George Washington Carver superó la falta de recursos y la discriminación racial para obtener una educación. Creía que “si puedes hacer las cosas ordinarias de la vida de manera extraordinaria, lograrás la atención del mundo”. Estas palabras y su eterna meta de ayudar a los campesinos negros atrapados en el sistema de aparcería y el monocultivo del algodón inspiraron su trabajo en el Tuskegee Institute de Alabama, donde fue director de enseñanza e investigación agrícola durante casi cuarenta años. Las investigaciones científicas de Carver condujeron al descubrimiento de más de 450 productos comerciales—desde la margarina hasta la cola de almidón—que podían extraerse de fuentes hasta entonces inexploradas, tales como el maní o cacahuate y la batata. Carver demostró a los campesinos sureños que las ventajas de diversificar los cultivos en vez de depender principalmente del algodón, que agotaba el suelo.
Provenance
George Washington Carver Memorial Committee, gift to Smithsonian 1944; transferred 1965 to NPG.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Exhibition
The Struggle for Justice
On View
NPG, West Gallery 220