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Mao Tse Tung and Richard Nixon

Mort Drucker, born 1929
Mao Tse-Tung, 26 Dec 1893 - Sep 1976
Richard Milhous Nixon, 9 Jan 1913 - 22 Apr 1994
Watercolor, gouache, ink, colored pencil and graphite pencil on paperboard
43.2 x 38.1cm (17 x 15")
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
Exhibition Label
When President Richard M. Nixon opened a dialogue with Communist China in 1971, he began one of the most significant developments in modern diplomatic history. Ironically, it was this tough anti-Communist who prepared the way for a more flexible policy toward China. This caused a realignment of power in the Cold War world and enabled Nixon to pursue a less confrontational policy-détente-with the Soviets. "It took Nixon to go to China" has come to mean that only someone with a tough reputation can effect a reversal in policy. Notwithstanding Nixon's diplomatic breakthrough, he was criticized for being too self serving in describing his achievement. Mort Drucker's Time cover caricature of Nixon and Chinese leader Mao Zedong alludes to the U.S. table tennis team's famous 1971 visit to China, one of the first signs of a thaw between the two countries.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
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