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

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Theodore Roosevelt

This 1967 portrait of Theodore Roosevelt by Adrian Lamb after Philip de Lászlo's 1908 original hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC.
"No one ever craved the presidency more than Theodore Roosevelt or used its powers more joyously. In early 1901, however, his rise toward that office was suddenly checked. Having gained national prominence as a civil service reformer, Spanish-American War hero, and reform-minded governor of New York, he was now relegated to being William McKinley's vice president. But McKinley's assassination several months later changed everything, and Roosevelt was soon rushing headlong into one of American history's most productive presidencies. By the time he left office in 1909, his accomplishments ranged from implementing landmark efforts to conserve the nation's disappearing natural heritage, to instituting some of the first significant curbs on the excesses of big business, to building the Panama Canal.

When Hungarian-born English artist Philip de Lászlo painted the original version of this portrait, he encouraged Roosevelt to have visitors chat with him during the sittings, apparently thinking that it made for a more animated likeness." -- National Portrait Gallery
This 1898 chromolithograph by Grant E. Hamilton also hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC.

Is it only a shadow?
"This whimsical yet prescient illustration pictures the shadow of Teddy Roosevelt (1858-1919), distinctive in his Rough Riders' hat, looming over Washington and the White House as politicians gawk from the dome of the Capitol building. In 1897 Roosevelt had left New York City politics to become assistant secretary of the navy, where he advocated America's increased presence in world politics. With the outbreak of war with Spain in 1898, he resigned to organize the cavalry unit known as the Rough Riders, which he led to victory at Kettle Hill, Cuba. This immensely increased Roosevelt's public profile in both the Republican Party and nationally. He would become New York's governor in 1898 and thereafter vice president and then president." -- National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery also displays this c. 1916 cartoon Theodore Roosevelt by Oscar Edward Cesare.
Votes for Women 1916
"As in much of his political life, Theodore Roosevelt's opinions about women's rights evolved from an acceptance of the status quo to a more activist reevaluation of the place of women in the public world. By 1912 he was an advocate for women's suffrage as part of his run for the presidency as an independent progressive; he linked the vote for women with a revitalization of American democracy both at home and in the world. He continued to support women's rights even out of office, hosting a luncheon for New York's suffragettes in 1916 after they had lost their statewide campaign for the vote. This cartoon satirizes both  Roosevelt's position on suffrage and his environmentalism, showing him as a myopic butterfly hunter and a 'faker' whose interest in women's issues was purely opportunistic." -- National Portrait Gallery

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