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

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Luis Munoz Marin

This 1974-77 portrait of Luis Munoz Marin (1898-1980) by Francisco Rodon hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
"A pivotal figure in Puerto Rican history, Luis Munoz Marin redefined the island's political relationship with the United States and installed initiatives that turned it into a post-World War II showcase of democratic capitalist development in Latin America. A poet and journalist, Munoz Martin founded the Partido Popular Democratico (PPD) in the late 1930s, which attracted the rural poor for its promise of economic and land reform. He became the island's first elected governor in 1948 and was reelected three times. In the 1950s he launched Operation Bootstrap, which transformed Puerto Rico's economy from agrarian to industrial, and Operation Serenity, its cultural counterpart. Working with President Harry S. Truman and the United States Congress, he led the creation, in 1952, of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, with a constitution that guaranteed a measure of self-government.

This portrait by Francisco Rodon captures Munoz Marin in his later years, as he reflects on the challenges facing modern Puerto Rico and how to invigorate the island's distinct identity." -- National Portrait Gallery

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