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Richard Nixon and Dwight D. Eisenhower

Artist
James Ormsbee Chapin, 1887 - 1975
Sitter
Dwight David Eisenhower, 14 Oct 1890 - 28 Mar 1969
Richard Milhous Nixon, 9 Jan 1913 - 22 Apr 1994
Date
1956
Type
Painting
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
Frame: 58.4 x 43.2cm (23 x 17")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Time magazine
Restrictions & Rights
© James Cox Gallery at Woodstock for the James Chapin Estate
Object number
NPG.78.TC347
Exhibition Label
The nomination of Dwight D. Eisenhower for president in 1952 convinced Republican Party insiders that they needed a vice president who was young, Western, and conservative. California Senator Richard Nixon appeared perfect. But Nixon soon came under fire when it was revealed that his supporters had contributed to a campaign "slush fund." With calls for Eisenhower to drop him from the ticket, Nixon made dramatic and novel use of television by explaining himself directly to the American people. Critics found him maudlin when he referred to his wife's "respectable Republican cloth [not mink] coat," and added that while no money from the fund went for personal use, he would not return the little cocker spaniel, Checkers, given to his daughters. But the huge TV audience loved the "Checkers speech," and Eisenhower greeted Nixon with, "You're my boy."
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
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National Portrait Gallery Collection