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John Lindsay

Romare Bearden, 2 Sep 1911 - 12 Mar 1988
John Vliet Lindsay, 1921 - 2000
Photo collage on cardboard
Image: 35.6 x 25.4cm (14 x 10")
Mat: 55.9 x 40.6cm (22 x 16")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Time magazine
Restrictions & Rights
© Romare Bearden Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
Object number
Exhibition Label
In both looks and attitude, John F. Kennedy influenced a generation of politicians, including the charismatic mayor of New York City, John Lindsay. Lindsay became mayor in 1965, just as the postwar boom slowed and as urban problems began to mount. Despite some failures, Lindsay was able to keep New York from the race riots that devastated other cities. So it was altogether appropriate that when Time profiled Lindsay in November 1968 its editors chose African American artist Romare Bearden to portray him. Bearden is one of the most important members of the second generation of the Harlem Renaissance. His work is highly spiritual, focusing on African American history. His collage of Lindsay shows the mayor besieged by the city’s problems, almost as if he is falling down a whirlpool, throwing his hands up in resistance—or surrender.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
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National Portrait Gallery Collection