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

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Moorfield Storey

 This 1917 charcoal portrait of Moorfield Storey by John Singer Sargent belongs to the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC. It appeared in an exhibit of Sargent charcoals.

Moorfield Storey 1845-1929

Moorfield Storey was a leading civil rights attorney and an outspoken opponent of U.S. military inter­vention overseas. He served as president of the Anti-Imperialist league from 1905 until 1921 and as president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) from 1909 until 1929. He also advocated for the rights of Native Americans and successfully brought cases before the Supreme Court concerning voting rights, residential segregation, and the prevention of lynchings and mob intimidation in criminal cases.

Storey famously declared, “One of the greatest dangers which threatens this country today is racial prejudice and it should be the duty of every person with any influence to discourage it.” Despite his serious purpose, Storey was not without humor, once joking that this charcoal portrait by Sargent might be considered “a fraud on the public, since it represents such an amiable old gentleman instead of a ferocious bruiser.” -- NPG

 These photos of Storey is only marginally more fierce.

And here he is on  a mission of peace. (Bisbee Daily Review, Bisbee, Arizona, July 16, 1916, Mining Section)

Representatives of the American Union against Militarism meet to promote good feeling between U.S. and Mexico.

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