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Testing Detente

Jack Davis, 2 Dec 1924 - 27 Jul 2016
Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev, 19 Dec 1906 - Nov 1982
Henry Martin Jackson, 31 May 1912 - 1 Sep 1983
Richard Milhous Nixon, 9 Jan 1913 - 22 Apr 1994
Opaque watercolor, ink and pastel on paperboard
68.6 x 55.2cm (27 x 21 3/4")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Time magazine
Restrictions & Rights
© Jack Davis
Object number
Exhibition Label
The image of President Richard Nixon shaking hands with Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev appeared on Time's cover on the eve of the 1974 Moscow summit meeting. Nixon hoped that this summit would advance the policy of détente-the easing of Cold War tensions-and also divert attention from the growing Watergate scandal. Watergate began when men on the payroll of Nixon's reelection campaign broke into Democratic National Committee headquarters. Mounting evidence of Nixon's direct involvement in the cover-up following the break-in had diverted his and the nation's attention away from foreign affairs. A sign of Nixon's diminished effectiveness was the increasing boldness with which critics challenged his foreign policy. One of his fiercest foes, Democratic senator Henry Jackson, is pictured here trying to pull Nixon away from Brezhnev. The Moscow summit ended with no strengthening of détente.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
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