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Calvin Coolidge

Calvin Coolidge
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Miguel Covarrubias, 22 Nov 1904 - 4 Feb 1957
Calvin Coolidge, 4 Jul 1872 - 5 Jan 1933
c. 1925
Watercolor and ink over graphite and colored pencil on buff paper
Image: 32.6 x 24.8cm (12 13/16 x 9 3/4")
Sheet: 35 x 24.8cm (13 3/4 x 9 3/4")
Mat: 55.9 x 40.6cm (22 x 16")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
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© Miguel Covarrubias
Object number
Exhibition Label
Script #AC015
Calvin Coolidge 1872-1933
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
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
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National Portrait Gallery Collection
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