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Robert Strange McNamara

Artist
Robert Vickrey, 26 Aug 1926 - 17 Apr 2011
Sitter
Robert Strange McNamara, 9 Jun 1916 - 6 Jul 2009
Date
1963
Type
Painting
Medium
Tempera on illustration board
Dimensions
Frame (Verified): 62.9 x 47.3 x 3.8 cm (24 3/4 x 18 5/8 x 1 1/2")
Sheet: 52.1 × 40 cm (20 1/2 × 15 3/4")
Mat: 71.1 × 55.9 cm (28 × 22")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Time magazine
Restrictions & Rights
© Robert Vickrey/Licenced by VAGA, New York, NY
Object number
NPG.78.TC579
Exhibition Label
When he resigned as secretary of defense in 1968, Robert S. McNamara had become the object of embittered criticism for his part in the escalation of the Vietnam War. Yet when Time ran its cover story on him in 1963, his leadership in reshaping and expanding the nation’s defense system was rapidly earning him a reputation as the “most efficient and effective” secretary in living memory.
McNamara posed for Robert Vickrey’s cover portrait at night—the only time he had free for such things. Never once, Vickrey recalled, did his subject show any interest in seeing the artist’s progress. The first time that he saw the finished likeness was on the magazine cover.
Robert S. McNamara 1916–2009
Al renunciar al cargo de secretario de defensa en 1967, Robert S. McNamara ya era objeto de recias críticas por su papel en el recrudecimiento de la guerra de Vietnam. Pero cuando Time publicó su artículo de portada sobre él en 1963, sus iniciativas para la renovación y expansión del sistema de defensa del país le estaban ganando una rápida fama como el secretario “más eficiente y eficaz” del que se tenga memoria.
McNamara posó para la portada de Robert Vickrey por la noche, su único momento libre para este tipo de cosas. Según recordaba Vickrey, su modelo jamás mostró interés en ver el progreso del retrato. La primera vez que vio la imagen terminada fue en la portada de la revista.
Robert Vickrey (1926–2011)
Témpera sobre cartón, 1963
Portada de Time, 15 de febrero de 1963
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection