Something about President Calvin Coolidge invited both verbal and visual parody. Historian Frederick Lewis Allen wrote that "he was a meager-looking man, [who] was as silent as a cake of ice." And when Dorothy Parker was told that Coolidge had died, she commented, "How could they tell?"
Mexican-born illustrator Miguel Covarrubias created one of the more merciless caricatures of Coolidge for Vanity Fair. The scant details of the drawing-the unfilled wastebasket and bare desktop-tell as much about the president's lack of imaginative leadership and the emptiness of his political agenda as do the descriptions of his face.
Miguel Covarrubias (1904-1957)
Watercolor and ink over graphite and colored pencil on buff paper, c. 1925
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution