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High Noon

High Noon
Usage Conditions Apply
Edward Sorel, born 1929
James Earl Carter, Jr., born 1 Oct 1924
Watercolor, ink, graphite pencil and cut paper on paperboard
Sight: 42.5 x 31.8cm (16 3/4 x 12 1/2")
Frame: 74.9 x 59.7 x 5.1cm (29 1/2 x 23 1/2 x 2")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Time magazine
Restrictions & Rights
Usage conditions apply
© Edward Sorel
Object number
Exhibition Label
This Time cover, depicting Jimmy Carter as a western sheriff about to have a showdown with an unseen outlaw, was a distillation of the hapless situation that Carter confronted in the spring of 1980. Two of the most pressing concerns of the moment were the fifty Americans being held hostage by Muslim fundamentalists in Iran and the Soviet Union's armed interference in Afghanistan. To force the release of the hostages and make the Soviets back off from attempting to bring the Afghans under their influence, Carter wanted to take strong retaliatory measures. But in order to give those measures teeth, he needed the backing of America's allies, and that support was not strong. Thus, Carter may indeed have been feeling like this holstered caricature of himself, marching to meet his foe, while his neighbors, who stand to benefit from his bravery, scurry off in search of refuge.
Time cover, April 28, 1980
Collection Description
In 1978, Time magazine donated approximately eight hundred works of original cover art to the National Portrait Gallery. The museum is dedicated to telling the stories of individuals who have shaped the United States, and the Time Collection—featuring prominent international figures and events—enriches our understanding of the United States in a global context.
En 1978, la revista Time donó a la National Portrait Gallery cerca de 800 obras de arte originales creadas para sus portadas. Nuestro museo se dedica a narrar la historia de figuras que han contribuido a forjar el desarrollo de Estados Unidos, y es así que la Colección Time, que incluye retratos de importantes personalidades internacionales, nos ayuda a comprender mejor a nuestra nación en un contexto global.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
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National Portrait Gallery Collection