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Catalog Data

Elaine de Kooning, 12 Mar 1918 - 1 Feb 1989  Search this
John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 29 May 1917 - 22 Nov 1963  Search this
Pencil on paper
Image: 39.3cm x 26.6cm (15 1/2" x 10 1/2")
Sheet: 45.8cm x 37.9cm (18 1/16" x 14 15/16")
Exhibition Label:
On December 28, 1962, when Elaine began to sketch the president, she recalled that "he wore a sweatshirt, white sailing pants and sneakers. He perched one foot on the chair and said, ‘Is this all right?’" She realized "that he was not interested in a painting of a man seated behind a desk with folded hands, so I took his improvised pose as a cue and I began sketching. This was the only time I saw him dressed casually." As she began to work, she used "pencil, pen and ink and charcoal. Charcoal’s great, because it enables you to go like lightening [sic]. . . . When he’d change his position, I’d switch drawings. . . . I kept jumping back and forth."
El 28 de diciembre de 1962, cuando Elaine comenzó a hacer bocetos del presidente, y según ella misma recordaba, “él llevaba un pulóver, pantalones marineros blancos y zapatos deportivos. Trepó un pie en la silla y dijo: ¿Está bien así?”. Ahí se dio cuenta de que “a él no le interesaba una pintura sentado tras un escritorio con las manos cruzadas, así que tomé su pose improvisada como punto de partida y empecé a dibujar. Esa fue la única vez que lo vi vestido informalmente”. En el proceso de trabajo alternaba “lápiz, plumilla y carboncillo. El carboncillo es fantástico porque te permite dibujar como un relámpago. [...] Cuando él cambiaba de postura, yo cambiaba de dibujo. [...] Me la pasaba yendo y viniendo de un dibujo al otro”.
Home Furnishings\Furniture  Search this
John Fitzgerald Kennedy: Male  Search this
John Fitzgerald Kennedy: Literature\Writer  Search this
John Fitzgerald Kennedy: Politics and Government\US Congressman\Massachusetts  Search this
John Fitzgerald Kennedy: Military and Intelligence\Navy\Officer  Search this
John Fitzgerald Kennedy: Politics and Government\President of US  Search this
John Fitzgerald Kennedy: Politics and Government\US Senator\Massachusetts  Search this
John Fitzgerald Kennedy: Pulitzer Prize  Search this
John Fitzgerald Kennedy: Presidential Medal of Freedom  Search this
Portrait  Search this
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number:
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
© Elaine de Kooning Trust
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National Portrait Gallery Collection
Currently not on view
Data Source:
National Portrait Gallery