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John Quincy Adams

John Quincy Adams
Artist
George Caleb Bingham, 20 Mar 1811 - 7 Jul 1879
Sitter
John Quincy Adams, 11 Jul 1767 - 23 Feb 1848
Date
c. 1850, from an 1844 original
Type
Painting
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
Stretcher: 76.2 × 63.5cm (30 × 25")
Frame (Verified): 94.6 x 81.9 x 5.7cm (37 1/4 x 32 1/4 x 2 1/4")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; frame conserved with funds from the Smithsonian Women's Committee
Restrictions & Rights
CC0
Object number
NPG.69.20
Exhibition Label
Sixth president, 1825–1829
John Quincy Adams, who like his father bristled with intelligence, narrowly defeated the popular military hero Andrew Jackson in the election of 1824. Adams’s qualifications for the presidency were many, including his tenure as James Monroe’s secretary of state, yet his often tactless temperament and refusal to compromise his high ideals put him at odds with the emerging democratic movement. The populist Jackson then secured the presidency in the 1828 election, denying Adams a second term, but the voters of Massachusetts elected Adams to the House of Representatives in 1830 and consequently revived his political career. His commitment to supporting anti-slavery advocates and defending their right to petition Congress won him many admirers beyond his Massachusetts constituency.
Having a keen interest in art, particularly portraiture, Adams had high expectations and doubted George Caleb Bingham’s ability to produce “a strong likeness” of him. Adams, however, was pleasantly surprised with the results.
6o presidente, 1825–1829
John Quincy Adams, hombre de inteligencia resplaneciente al igual que su padre, derrotó por escaso margen al popular héroe militar Andrew Jackson en las elecciones de 1824. Eran numerosos los factores que calificaban a Adams para la presidencia, entre ellos su desempeño como secretario de estado de James Monroe, pero su falta de tacto y su renuencia a comprometer sus altos ideales le crearon conflictos con el naciente movimiento demócrata. El populista Jackson ganó la presidencia en las elecciones de 1828, negándole a Adams un segundo término, pero este fue elegido por los votantes de Massachusetts a la Cámara de Representantes en 1830 y con ello revivió su carrera política. Su apoyo constante a los antiesclavistas y su defensa del derecho de estos a presentar su caso ante el Congreso le ganaron muchos seguidores más allá de su distrito de Massachusetts.
Dado su vivo interés en el arte, sobre todo en los retratos, Adams tenía grandes expectativas y dudaba que George Caleb Bingham tuviera habilidad para producir “una imagen fiel” suya. Sin embargo, el resultado fue una sorpresa agradable.
Provenance
David Westfall, Cambridge, Mass. and his mother Ruth Rollins Westfall; purchased 1968 NPG.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Exhibition
America's Presidents (Reinstallation September 2017)
On View
NPG, South Gallery 240