George de Forest Brush, 28 Sep 1855 - 24 Apr 1941
Henry George, 2 Sep 1839 - 29 Oct 1897
Oil on wood
Panel: 22.5 x 20 x 0.3cm (8 7/8 x 7 7/8 x 1/8")
Frame: 33.3 x 30.5 x 5.7cm (13 1/8 x 12 x 2 1/4")
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Restrictions & Rights
"The great American Republic must be a republic in fact as well as form," wrote economist Henry George. As American industry after the Civil War spawned undreamed-of wealth for some and a new and excruciating poverty for others, George became a leading voice in efforts to reform the nation's free-enterprise system. His stinging yet highly popular critique of American capitalism, Poverty and Progress (1879), described with great eloquence the inequities in modern society. According to George, poverty's root cause lay in ever-rising land values. Levying a heavy "single tax" on those values would, he asserted, undermine monopolies, distribute wealth more evenly, and eliminate poverty. Although George failed in his attempt to win elected office, his writings found widespread support, especially within the burgeoning labor movement.
(Adelson Gallery, Boston 1966); purchased December 1967 NPG.