Skip to main content

The Summit

Artist
Ronald William Fordham Searle, 3 Mar 1920 - 30 Dec 2011
Sitter
Charles Andre Joseph Marie de Gaulle, 1890 - 1970
Dwight David Eisenhower, 14 Oct 1890 - 28 Mar 1969
Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev, 17 Apr 1894 - Sep 1971
Harold Macmillan, 1894 - 1986
Date
1960
Type
Drawing
Medium
Ink, graphite pencil and paper on paperboard
Dimensions
48.2 x 36.9cm (19 x 14 1/2")
Mat: 71.1 x 55.9cm (28 x 22")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Time magazine
Restrictions & Rights
© Ronald Searle
Object number
NPG.78.TC351
Exhibition Label
On May 1, 1960, the USSR shot down an American U-2 spy plane that had entered its airspace. Believing the plane destroyed and the pilot dead, the U.S. declared it a weather plane. When Nikita Khrushchev announced the recovery of the plane and pilot, he gave Eisenhower a way out, suggesting the president was not aware of the flights. Eisenhower would not play along; he defended the flights but promised not to resume them. Three weeks later, at the start of the Paris summit to ease Cold War tensions, Khrushchev denounced the flights as "aggressive . . . treacherous, [and] . . . incompatible [with] . . . normal relations between states in times of peace." He continued, "We reserve the right to retaliate against those who . . . violate . . . national sovereignty." Later, Khrushchev acknowledged that "internal politics" forced him to react as he did.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection