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Calvin Coolidge

Artist
Miguel Covarrubias, 22 Nov 1904 - 4 Feb 1957
Sitter
Calvin Coolidge, 4 Jul 1872 - 5 Jan 1933
Date
c. 1925
Type
Drawing
Medium
Watercolor and ink over graphite and colored pencil on buff paper
Dimensions
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
Restrictions & Rights
© Miguel Covarrubias
Object number
NPG.79.76
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
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection