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Johnson as Lear

Artist
David Levine, 20 Dec 1926 - 29 Dec 2009
Sitter
Hubert Horatio Humphrey, Jr., 27 May 1911 - 13 Jan 1978
Lyndon Baines Johnson, 27 Aug 1908 - 22 Jan 1973
Robert Francis Kennedy, 20 Nov 1925 - 6 Jun 1968
Wilbur Daigh Mills, 24 May 1909 - 2 May 1992
Date
1967
Type
Drawing
Medium
Ink and graphite pencil on paper
Dimensions
Sheet: 37.5 × 27.6 cm (14 3/4 × 10 7/8")
Mat: 45.7 × 35.6 cm (18 × 14")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Time magazine
Restrictions & Rights
© David Levine
Object number
NPG.78.TC475
Culture
Robert Francis Kennedy: American\Irish American
Exhibition Label
Named Time’s 1964 “Man of the Year” because of his remarkable presidential successes, Lyndon Johnson (1908–1973) received that distinction again in 1967 for his perceived failures. Violently scorned for escalating the Vietnam War, chastised by African Americans for moving too slowly on civil rights, and hounded in Congress for the costliness of his ambitious domestic programs, Johnson had even been deserted by much of his own Democratic Party. By the first week of 1968, when this caricature appeared on Time’s cover, his approval rating had plummeted from a peak of 80 percent to 38 percent.
Artist David Levine (1926–2009) took his inspira- tion from Shakespeare’s play King Lear (c. 1606), which centers on a man who runs afoul of his children and his own good intentions. Fellow Democrats Senator Robert Kennedy (1925–1968) and Representative Wilbur Mills (1909–1992) belea- guered the president; only one member of Johnson’s political “family” remained loyal: Vice President Hubert Humphrey (1911–1978).
Lyndon Johnson (1908–1973) fue “Hombre del Año” de la revista Time en 1964 por sus notables logros en la presidencia, y volvió a serlo en 1967, esa vez por lo que se opinaba eran sus fracasos. Despreciado con violencia por intensificar la guerra de Vietnam, criticado por los afroamericanos por su lento avance en materia de derechos civiles y atacado en el Congreso por el alto costo de sus ambiciosos programas domésticos, Johnson incluso fue abandonado por gran parte de su propio Partido Demócrata. Para la primera semana de 1968, cuando apareció esta caricatura en la portada de Time, su índice de aprobación se había desplomado de 80 por ciento a 38 por ciento.
El artista David Levine (1926–2009) se inspiró en el drama shakesperiano El rey Lear (c. 1606), sobre un hombre que se enemista con sus hijas y se desvía de sus buenas intenciones. Acosado por sus compañeros demócratas, el senador Robert Kennedy (1925–1968) y el representante Wilbur Mills (1909–1992), el presidente solo contaba en su “familia” política con un miembro fiel: el vicepresi- dente Hubert Humphrey (1911–1978).
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection