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Doctoring the Economy

Artist
Mort Drucker, born 1929
Sitter
Carl Bert Albert, 10 May 1908 - 4 Feb 2000
Gerald Rudolph Ford, Jr., 14 Jul 1913 - 26 Dec 2006
Date
1975
Type
Painting
Medium
Ink, opaque watercolor, pastel and graphite pencil on paper
Dimensions
Image: 45.1 x 35.6cm (17 3/4 x 14")
Mat: 71.1 x 55.9cm (28 x 22")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Time magazine
Restrictions & Rights
© Mort Drucker
Object number
NPG.78.TC44
Exhibition Label
Time's cover for January 27, 1975, addressed what the magazine reported as "the worst economic slump since the Great Depression." What today may seem like a familiar story against the backdrop of the latest recession, the crisis thirty-five years ago was being fueled by runaway inflation at a rate of almost 14 percent and a "dangerous dependence" on foreign oil. In his State of the Union address, President Gerald Ford had declared flatly that "the State of the Union is not good" and that he did not expect "much, if any, applause." Ford's proposed cure was a "three-stage operation" involving tax rebates, tax cuts, and new energy taxes. In this caricature, artist Mort Drucker adapted the medical analogies employed in the cover story: Ford is depicted dressed in a surgical gown and is working frantically alongside Speaker of the House Carl Albert to revive what appears to be a deathly ill patient.
Time cover, January 27, 1975
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
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National Portrait Gallery Collection