Skip to main content

The National Portrait Gallery is open to the public Wed - Sun, with timed-entry passes required for all visitors. On-site tours and events are currently suspended and all public programs will be online

Andrew Johnson

Andrew Johnson
Artist
Washington Bogart Cooper, 1802 - 1889
Sitter
Andrew Johnson, 29 Dec 1808 - 31 Jul 1875
Date
after 1866
Type
Painting
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
Frame (Verified): 114.3 x 96.5 x 8.9cm (45 x 38 x 3 1/2")
Stretcher: 92.1 × 74.3cm (36 1/4 × 29 1/4")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Restrictions & Rights
CC0
Object number
NPG.86.213
Exhibition Label
Seventeenth president, 1865–1869
A onetime tailor whose wife had taught him to read, Andrew Johnson had a gift for public speaking, which helped launch his political career. In 1864, Abraham Lincoln, in a gesture of unity, chose Johnson—a Southern Democrat from Tennessee but a staunch defender of the Union—as his running mate to help hold the border states. When Johnson succeeded to the presidency after Lincoln’s assassination in April 1865, it became evident that his view of Reconstruction, which would return power to the white Southern planters and allow the former Confederate states to deprive formerly enslaved people of their rights, clashed not only with Lincoln’s views but with the Republican majority in Congress. Johnson was impeached on charges of violating the 1867 Tenure of Office Act and avoided conviction by only one vote.
The signed but undated painting by Washington B. Cooper, a noted Tennessee portraitist, was probably completed during Johnson’s presidency.
17o presidente, 1865–1869
Andrew Johnson, un sastre cuya esposa le había enseñado a leer, tenía talento para hablar en público, y esto lo ayudó a lanzar su carrera política. En 1864, Abraham Lincoln quiso hacer un gesto de unidad y escogió a Johnson —Demócrata sureño de Tennessee, pero defensor incondicional de la Unión— como su compañero en la papeleta republicana para que le ayudara a conseguir el voto de los estados fronterizos. Cuando Johnson asumió la presidencia tras el asesinato de Lincoln en abril de 1865, se hizo evidente que su visión de la Reconstrucción devolvería el poder a los hacendados sureños blancos y permitiría a los antiguos estados confederados privar de sus derechos a las personas que habían sido esclavas. Esto contradecía no solo la filosofía de Lincoln, sino también la de la mayoría republicana en el Congreso. Johnson fue sometido a juicio político, acusado de violar la Ley de Permanencia en el Cargo de 1867, y eludió la sentencia de condena por un solo voto.
Es posible que este retrato con firma pero sin fecha, pintado por Washington B. Cooper, notable retratista de Tennessee, haya sido realizado durante la presidencia de Johnson.
Provenance
Collier-Chrichlow estate sale 23 November 1985, Murfreesboro, Tenn.; purchased by James B. Brown, Jr., Columbia, Tenn.; purchased 1986 NPG
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Exhibition
America's Presidents (Reinstallation September 2017)
On View
NPG, South Gallery 240