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Richard Nixon

Artist
Norman Rockwell, 3 Feb 1894 - 8 Nov 1978
Sitter
Richard Milhous Nixon, 9 Jan 1913 - 22 Apr 1994
Date
1968
Type
Painting
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
Stretcher: 46.4 × 66.7cm (18 1/4 × 26 1/4")
Frame (Verified): 52.4 x 72.4 x 5.7cm (20 5/8 x 28 1/2 x 2 1/4")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; donated to the people of the United States of America by the Richard Nixon Foundation
Object number
NPG.72.2
Exhibition Label
Thirty-seventh president, 1969–1974
Coming of political age during the Cold War, Richard Nixon used national security issues to gain prominence in Congress and later served as Eisenhower’s vice president. After he lost both the election for the presidency, in 1960, and the race for California governor, in 1962, it seemed as though his career may have peaked in the 1950s. However, as the Democratic Party unraveled over such topics as the Vietnam War and civil rights, Nixon won the presidency in 1968.
During his tenure, which was cut short, he focused on foreign policy, particularly with regard to ending the Vietnam War and establishing a relationship with China. The scandal over the Watergate break-in and the subsequent cover-up morphed into a crisis over presidential misconduct, and in 1974, he became the first—and so far the only—president to resign.
In 1968, Look magazine hired Norman Rockwell to portray the newly elected president. Admitting that Nixon’s appearance was troublesomely elusive, Rockwell chose to intentionally flatter him. If he was going to err in his portrayal, he said, he wanted it to be in the direction that would please his subject.
37o presidente, 1969–1974
Habiéndose desarrollado políticamente durante la Guerra Fría, Richard Nixon aprovechó el tema de la seguridad nacional para lograr prominencia en el Congreso y más tarde sirvió como vicepresidente en el gobierno de Eisenhower. Luego de perder las elecciones presidenciales en 1960 y las de gobernador de California en 1962, tal parecía que su Carrera política había alcanzado su cumbre en la década de 1950. Sin embargo, con el Partido Demócrata en caos por desacuerdos sobre la Guerra de Vietnam y los derechos civiles, entre otros problemas, Nixon ganó la presidencia en 1968.
Durante su término, que no llegó a completarse, se concentró en la política exterior, sobre todo
en poner fin a la Guerra de Vietnam y establecer relaciones con China. El escándalo sobre el robo en Watergate y el subsiguiente encubrimiento se convirtió en una crisis de ética presidencial y en 1974 Nixon fue el primer —y hasta ahora el único— president que se vio obligado a renunciar a su cargo. En 1968, la revista Look contrató a Norman Rockwell para que pintara al presidente recién electo. Admitiendo que la apariencia esquiva de Nixon era problemática, Rockwell decidió presentarlo de forma más halagadora. Si iba a errar en su retrato, dijo, prefería hacerlo de manera que complaciera al modelo.
Provenance
Commissioned by Look magazine. The artist; purchased 1972 by NPG through (Danenberg Galleries, Inc., New York)
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Exhibition
America's Presidents (Reinstallation September 2017)
On View
NPG, West Gallery 210