"A portrait is a picture in which there is just a tiny little something not quite right about the mouth." -- John Singer Sargent

Monday, July 4, 2016

Dwight D. Eisenhower

This portrait of Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969) by Thomas E. Stephens hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
"With a talent for military strategy and the ability to work effectively with personalities of all types, General Dwight D. Eisenhower proved uniquely suited for the role of supreme allied commander during World War II. A career army officer, Eisenhower began his war­time service in 1941 as head of the War Plans Division under General George C. Marshall. He was assigned to lead U.S. forces in Britain in the spring of 1942, and later commanded the Allied forces' invasions of North Africa, Sicily, and Italy (1942-43). Named supreme commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force by President Franklin Roosevelt in December 1943, Eisenhower masterminded the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944, and directed Allied operations in Europe until the surrender of Germany in May 1945. Enormously popular with the American public after the war, Eisenhower was elected to the presidency in 1952 and served two terms." -- National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery further discusses Eisenhower and this painting.
 "As the general who directed the Allied victory in Europe during World War II, Dwight Eisenhower enjoyed a popularity that made him eminently ripe for a presidential candidacy. But not until 1952 did this man with his politically potent grin finally succumb to Republicans' urgings that he seek the nation's highest office.

After Eisenhower left the White House in 1961, many experts felt that he had not been a particularly effective chief executive. They faulted him for being slow to use his influence to gain compliance with court-ordered racial integration of public schools and claimed that his confrontational strategies in blocking the spread of Communism sometimes added unnecessarily to Cold War tensions. Such criticisms became more muted, however, in the face of a growing appreciation for his administration's sound fiscal policies and its efforts to promote peaceful coexistence with the Soviet Union while maintaining a strong posture against its  aggressive moves to promote Communism in the world.

While posing for this portrait by Thomas Stephens, Eisenhower expressed an urge to try his own hand at painting. At a rest break, Stephens handed him a brush and told him to have a go. Within a month, painting had become one of Eisenhower's hobbies." -- NPG

Unit Patch

Five Stars

Thos. E. Stephens

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