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Harry S Truman

Boris Chaliapin, 1904 - 1979
Harry S Truman, 8 May 1884 - 26 Dec 1972
Watercolor, gouache, graphite pencil and ink on illustration board
Sight (Verified): 44.1 x 31.4 cm (17 3/8 x 12 3/8")
Mat: 71.1 × 55.9 cm (28 × 22")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Time magazine
Restrictions & Rights
© Chris Murphy
Object number
Exhibition Label
"Today Harry Truman stands higher in the Democratic affections than he did when he left office on January 20, 1953," reported Time in its cover story prior to the 1956 Democratic convention in Chicago. The magazine, like scores of political pundits, predicted that the presence of former President Truman, then seventy-two, would be the highlight and catalyst of the convention, even more than the respected but lackluster repeat presidential nominee, Adlai Stevenson. In stark contrast, "Democrats have come to look on Truman as a character, sometimes amusing, always indomitable, certainly admirable, almost always loveable." Equally noteworthy was the anticipation of electronic gadgetry to enhance what was being billed as the grandest of all presidential conventions; particular attention was focused on improved air conditioning and live television coverage, as Chaliapin graphically forecast in this cover portrait.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
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National Portrait Gallery Collection