Skip to main content

tv   The Presidency  CSPAN  November 27, 2016 8:00pm-9:11pm EST

8:00 pm
the communicators on c-span2. announcer: with donald trump elected, melania trump becomes the nations second foreign-born first lady since luis adams. learn more about the influence of america's presidential spouses from the book "first lady's." the book is a look at the personal lives influence of every presidential spouse in american history, a companion to the well-regarded biography tv series and features interviews with 54 of the nations leading first lady's historians, biographies of first ladies and archival photos from each of their lives. published by public affairs and available wherever you buy books at now available in paperback. announcer: coming up next on "the presidency." \ chief historian william digiacomantonio talks about how
8:01 pm
artists have depicted george washington, including the famous portraits. >> want to welcome you all to the august lunchtime lecture series at u.s. capital historical society. i want to end the series with something instructive, of course frothyo, not light and but something a little less mysterious. by that i made, there is going to be a lot of visuals and i figure visual intelligence is something we can all play a little bit of a claim to. for those of you who need the more traditional scaffolding,
8:02 pm
like an outline come you could start off by a few pages of that and that is with a works cited page is all about. those of you to respond to competitiveness, have a couple door prizes a look about at the end so people can answer a couple questions that might occur during the talk, but mostly this is going to be visuals and we are just going to , works ofwo centuries art, mostly paintings, stump statuary of george washington i should say at little bit about myself. they say i am chief historian, i am not an art historian, but anyone who appreciates the multiplicity of doing history, understands you have to work with art he goes that is how people express themselves when they are at their best and sometimes their worst, as we'll see.
8:03 pm
taught a course at gw university on george washington, i made sure there was one lecture on george washington in the art and i refined it a little bit for today's purposes, but their mind this is primarily intended for a college crowd. to being an art historian, so if any of the professional artist in the room want to call the on anything, try to bite your tongue until afterwards and we will get to it. things to look forward to, looking at portraiture and contemporary print, basically ways washington was portrayed to his contemporaries while he was alive. moving on, history painting and genre art, basically washington and images of historic scenes that actually took place so that artists wanted -- or that artist wanted it to take place.
8:04 pm
iconography, a broader topic that covers almost the entire time since washington was alive. attitudes across time. in history painting we find bachelor's and versus religious and -- realism. you will see the romantic style developed where these stories are cap for the emotions they evoke, and again the genre style and i cannot if with issues of ancestor worship versus characters and parodies of the attitudes toward history. we start off at the very first portrait of george washington. that he enters the stage of history on, literally wearing the uniform they believe. we know he was wearing a uniform, most likely this uniform when he appeared at the second continental congress in 1775, showing things getting to
8:05 pm
a point where militarism may be an option. at this point in time, it is only 1772. 1772 marks a very quiet period during the imperial crisis to great britain and some of it, not all of its colonies, only 13 of the colonies in north america. he was wrong to say this is a picture of a george washington militant. this is a picture of george washington, virginia gentry who is a very proud member of the british empire. it is a portrait that he had to do begrudgingly. a painter charles wilson peale showed up at his doorstep in 1772. know 17 72 from records, we know the washington is proud to be a member of the british empire, showing off in the background exactly what the empire is, unsurveyed wilderness spreading out to the west and
8:06 pm
his pocket is the marching orders for when he was in office for the french-indian war. he is proud to be a member of the british empire, serving with the british army in fighting off the french. that is what this represents. started,utionary war tonsils and peel is still the guy -- john wilson peel is still the guy we rely on. he had several children, naming each of them after a famous artist. you have probably heard of rembrandt, rafael and they all wanted to paint washington. at one point in his career, washington had been sitting all ale sittings.us pe this was relatively early in washington's military career dated 1779 but is based on a prototype that he did in 1776.
8:07 pm
this painting shows, the left, you may recognize these and symbolism in his victory at princeton. he was very smart. stevens is the other artist we will be talking about. he had a prototype and he keepes he can justke reproducing of her people, this one for the spanish in congress. he made about 17 of these overall. he also painted george washington at the federal convention the summer of 1787 in philadelphia. i thought this was interesting because he was still wearing the generals uniform. he has not quite relinquished his claim to fame as a general yet come even while he is as the president of a civilian organization.
8:08 pm
painted this painting in 1794 martha, a very small painting called washington at times point where it is outside of new york city. probably had just come back from england at the time, so he wanted to make a mark for himself in the seat of government in new york city. everyone thought this painting was one of the best. it certainly people in his family, his adopted step grandson thought it was the best portrait ever done of washington. he did a version of it but the corporation the city of new york, the first work of art that was bought by the city of new york. itpainted another version of for the city of charleston, not to be outdone by new york city. charleston want to their own version, but trumbull is not that savvy of a businessperson.
8:09 pm
in the background, he could've painted anything he wanted. when you are from charleston, this battle is not going to work. charleston says, we do not want it. thank you very much. trumbull kept it and we will see what he did with it a little later on. the third of the trifecta of early portraits was the gilbert stuart. the national gallery has a great exhibit on gilbert stuart several years ago. i hope you got to see it. he did three prototypes. remember i mentioned peale recognizing when he had a good thing he stuck with it. he had stuart realized three good things, and most of the portrait to get of george washington were spinoffs of the three prototypes. the first when he did is called the bond portrait in 1795. it was done right after gilbert stuart comes right from england where he studied under benjamin webb.
8:10 pm
like three of the four early portraitist in the early republic or from new england. in the wilderness, is what they like to call the early painters in the early colonies. trumbull had a hard time selling the career of a painter to his family. his father was the governor of colonial connecticut and --inded him that new haven he thought it would be a hard sell for his son. convert stuart had a little bit more -- gilbert stuart had a little bit more to go from, from rhode island, little bit more success in the british aisles primarily in ireland. before he comes back to the united states he thinks his first one of george washington for a guy named bond. most of the portraits stuart paints, the prototypes and the copies are named for the owners. this is the vaughn portrait.
8:11 pm
this is the famous portrait from 1796. 75 replicas of this were made during stuart's own lifetime. maybe some of you know the story. i have done some research and a do not know if it is possible or not. he was commissioned to do this by the family. they are both at the national portrait gallery. he had atuart realized good thing, did not want to give it up, so technically he only had to deliver it once it was done, so he made sure it was never done. he continued to use it as the prototype. the third is also here in washington. 1796. painted in you might recognize it.
8:12 pm
the headically just plopped on the body. this enabled stuart to do any number of copies depending on what the commissioner patron wanted. if you wanted a certain book on the table, a background between the drapes and so on. it was a very lucrative deal for gilbert stuart. it was painted for the being binghams.h i will not tell you where there is another one of these in washington dc. i will not tell you where this. we can talk about that later if you want. these are all private portraits done by very well-paid patrons. it would cost a lot of money to do a portrait. regular people wanted to see what george washington looked like as well, see what find images of george washington and all kinds of articles for public consumption.
8:13 pm
this shows george washington, but you can tell as well as i can this is just a guy on the horse. what is interesting about this is the saying around it. it does identified as george washington, the founder and protector of american liberty and independence. the talkre here for couple weeks ago, that might resonate over that. that was something very close to the titles of the senate actually ended up doing for george washington, but the house rejected it. mind, it was not such an outlandish title, the commander-in-chief. this is the cover of an almanac from boston in 1778, chance for you to show off. 1778?ust happened in a major event in american history. the battle of saratoga, ok.
8:14 pm
if you're making an almanac in 1778, you want to honor the victor, which was not george washington, horatio kate. you see there is the glorious washington and gate identified. i do not know which one is which because neither of them look like either of the people they are purported to be and that is exactly the point. you just threw up they would cut, a cheap woodcut and see what happened. as a matter of fact, these images were interchangeable with almost any other person in colonial america. that was the point. people that wanted to consume images of washington in the public sphere still had to wait for something more accurate. they had to wait even longer than 1796, which is when this page from a textbook for young americans comes out. again, and identifies george washington.
8:15 pm
to me, it is ben franklin. i do not know. there were 11 what blocks cut representextbook to 22 people, see you can tell. the only thing that would separate them is the addition of a hat sometimes. this is what people had to work with. eventually, the portrait of trumbull, stuart realized he had a good thing going with engravings. they could take trumbull's projected charleston portrait in 1792 and turn it into an engraving. america did not have the capability of doing an engraving of this quality, so trumbull had to send it off to england. this begins in the most popular engraving of george washington in the early 19th-century. savage started painting in 1789,n for harvard
8:16 pm
and again he realized, why should i just do one when i could do a print of it in so many? print of george washington in 1792. what i find interesting about this, they are one of the few that show george washington randy batch of cincinnati. others that are only in print, not in portrait. those of you that know the history know that washington had a very ambivalent relationship with the society of cincinnati and be precisely because he was the president pretty much for life until he died. savage was another new englander. new englanders might have a reputation as part of the. paris and legacy. this is something he did have a
8:17 pm
some print before. 4 of washington and shows him holding a map. i wish you could see it all. it is a map of washington dc , the holds center stage portrait he did in 1796, savage again. he started in 1789 when he did just that washington had but he wanted to get the whole family. this is the first and only one of washington's family ever done. we saw this and i talk several weeks ago. the talk on the west in general because through the opening, the drawn curtains, you can see the potomac river valley which was washington's key to opening up the west in securing the west to america through access to the atlantic seaboard. washington owned a lot of , more of west.ora
8:18 pm
he gave his name to the city he was pointing up. one of the things about this portrait is it is so fun to read and when i teach my class, and i teach them how to read a document, i am not limiting to little documents. anything can be a document. like a painting needs to be read, and so this one should be read as washington being a family man. we can see that, very, very proud of the city that would bear his name. i want to draw attention to the packing were sorry to miss this aint, there is actually secession that is going on. from the city of washington where he is resting his left hand, but his right hand is resting on the shoulder of his adopted stuff grandson.
8:19 pm
his hand is resting on a globe, so if you wanted to read into this, you could say, this is washington dc, the capital of the new nation extended, maybe its influence over the entire globe. pretty cheeky stuff for 1796, but from the perspective today, it is interesting to read and you can sorry -- start to miss that point. the african-american servant is not lately. i cannot remember the name of the guy. historians do know this stuff and feel confident of who he is but it is not washington's manservant at least. there are so many gizmos to operate. the other thing we have to think savage for is he painted the first image we have of mount vernon. 1791.nted it in it was not displayed until 1802, but he does get the distinction of having the first one on campus.
8:20 pm
this is mount vernon you can see today. the first one the people would have seen and began a long tradition of upholding mount vernon as an icon, which it really is today, and let's face it, you see any houses with the the:, the first thing you're going to think of, that is a mount vernon spinoff. this is the first mount vernon in public print in his resignation in 1779 -- 1789. the more important thing about this image besides it being the first public image of mount vernon, it is supposed to honor george washington's resignation. hiss an image to honor resignation from presidency two years earlier. washington's whole career was
8:21 pm
really a career of surrendering power and this is going to be very, very important later on. we will touch on it right now with only the most important image of washington as someone who surrenders power. general in the early days of the roman republic, not the entire, who surrendered, who gave up farming when he was called by his country, fought the enemy, came back as a farmer, instead of holding onto dictatorial powers. much like washington's career called to serve as commander-in-chief, and when he resigns in 1783, 11 what -- it was one of the most amazing acts in human history. if he gives of power, he will be the most famous man in history. we see george washington as cincinnatus. this is the installation of his
8:22 pm
famous statue in the virginia statehouse in richmond in 1796. this is something we can read. what are some of the things you notice? pressed the wrong button. this was a symbol of unity, basically ask handles to -- ask handles to symbolize coming together. as cloak is draped over it if to say, yes, the power is there but it is neutralized by my cloak. he has hung up his sword, surrendering military power and it is replaced by a cane. likemuch a farmer just cincinnatus.
8:23 pm
death inlose to his 1802. by this time, washington's face is readily identifiable. i will pass the time or he is looking like ben franklin across the almanac. we are at the point where almost everyone recognizes gilbert stuart's face. again, it is multitasking. he puts the face on a body of washington. again, you have to read this. of allegories, so many things going on you do not want to miss. many of us recognize the liberty given to enslaved people. it is stamping on a snake, which
8:24 pm
den.harkening back to e we find a father time and the hourglass, universal symbol of time's passage. i to call attention to the native american at the lower right. this is probably the most historically factual part of this entire scene because in fact the president equaled george washington in the humanitarian policy he showed toward the native americans. washington's death, he becomes a major focus of history paintings in a grand manner. in many americans, people the british empire, the electric world, the academy of history painting closest to his early , thewas benjamin west 1759 in general wolf in
8:25 pm
the painting is done in 1771 for the king. benjamin west is in and you heard me say a few minutes ago, the three great early allraitist of washington studied under benjamin west. he is an american from pennsylvania, goes to london and sets up shop, become sticky's king's- becomes the painter. many go to england to mimic his career in a gravitated toward his studio. this is his most in this painting. they know what caused a scandal shows general james wolf in his clothes.
8:26 pm
that was considered somewhat scandalous back in 1771 because if you were anyone worth having a painting done of yourself on the heroic stage, you needed to be dressed up like a good roman would have been. this kind of realistic portrayal of the still kind1759 was of scandalous, even when it crosses the atlantic into the americas, is symbolized by this engraving. this is one artist's provision of the statute congress voted to erect of washington. you can see, well, i do not have to tell you, washington never wore a suit of armor like this. it is not even a roman tote. this is like a velasquez continues to door. .- conquistador
8:27 pm
it shows americans are not letting go of certain tropes, a cartographic tropes that they expected people to abide by and adhere to. the first american network on the side of the atlantic and then went on in england to do wasory paintings as well john's eagleton copley. the only reason i have this through perfectly honest is i love the self-portrait. it is a beautiful portrait. it shows the quality of stuff he could do. he was of estonian, another new oflander he is in the field history painting, the grand manner. this was painted a year after the self-portrait is all before. this painting is composed with an obligation to preserve, and actual moment in history. copley has the archetypical
8:28 pm
american eye for the chance to make a lot of money. why just paint a picture of one person, when i can paint the picture of a lot of people and iselle engravings, copies. everyone wants to see themselves in a picture, right? sure enough, he makes this of you can make an engraving, and occasionally wondering if you are into painting, he gives you a key. you have 55 patrons instead of just one. very, very clever. about this painting, over, way, it is kind of tyson. this is not the way it actually looked. chat of having a stroke for which he died several months later. chatham does lord not sound like it will sell as
8:29 pm
well as the death of lord chatham. when i say it is an archival there are images of these portraits and studies of each of these people. trumbull who studied under benjamin west did the same thing. when he embarks on history painting, this is trumbull's famous death of general montgomery done in 1786. trumbull i found it recently there is a new biography about him, i believe. i cannot wait to get my hands on it. he had a very interesting life, serving in the american army, went to england and was imprisoned as a spy. he was trying to learn the art studio and in west's befriends abigail and john adams and jefferson and they encourage him to embark in a series of
8:30 pm
american history paintings. if mytially intended, memory is correct, 15 or 16 of them, but only executed about eight. my thinking is one of the best. erin and i have seen this painting. it is at the trumbull gallery in yale. it is rather small. the early ones are small, only about this big and they are beautiful. if you ever wonder what his inspiration is, it is west. doing the death of another general outside of the same city, quebec, just five years apart. trumbull, like so many of the commercialts, sees potential for collecting subscriptions and engravings of the paintings he does. unlike copley, he is more
8:31 pm
reluctant to alter the factionalism of the painting. they are all realistic but they are very -- update vary by factionalism. as we know with any history painting, you are going to fudge things in order to show off a moral dimension to the scene. we are this a couple weeks ago with debbie hansen speaking on the painting by powell. some facts because he saw higher lessons to be learned by imbuing a sense of heroism. whatever the theme happens to be. in this case, trumbull paints in the surrender of the haitians in 1776, he paints washington accepting the surrender of the committee kernecolonel. he did not accept a surrender, certainly. this is something he fudged
8:32 pm
because he wanted to show how commander-in-chief should treat fallen enemies and prisoners. when i first started putting this talk together several years and iitmo was in the news started thinking about what people have to learn about the proper treatment of prisoners, prisoners of war. 's death of general mercer princeton, a study done around the same time he is still in london in 1786. again, it shows a dynamic battlefield, but again he is tweaking the facts, right? appear, ihington, like this study because it shows some of the frenzy of the battlefield more than the finish, more polished version. george washington of your was never your general mercer when he was killed. on the other hand, this is the only image we have of george
8:33 pm
washington of trumbull's and actual battlefield. when you are commander-in-chief in a major war, you should be at least one battle. we have him to thank for that. of his paintings and up in the rotunda by the 1830's, george washington is and them at the surrender of yorktown in this one is much more important, and we would get back to the resignation of washington. this is the painting of his resignation to congress. he is giving up our back to the civil -- power back to the civil authorities. by the time this painting is done, his eyesight is beginning to falter and combined with the fact that his paint is on a much
8:34 pm
larger canvas, i think that accounts for the fact that some of the master you saw in some of the earlier paintings is just gone. it is gone by the te this is finished and installed but it is still an important document we can leave for lessons of george washington's life. although the language, the lexicon for interpreting the language of this painting might be lost to us today, back in the 1820's, it would have been more obvious to people for example that everything to the left of washington represents the domestic side of his life. right is public, the right hand is more public, and you shake with other people. that is the public license that is all of the legislators on the right but on the left is where you find the young ladies, martha up in the gallery, for
8:35 pm
she was not even near there, but we want to get her in their. re. trumbull throws and james madison in this group. he threw him in there because he wanted to show all of the presence of the virginia dynasty city together. monroe was there because he was there, washington of course and jefferson was there because he was a member at the time, but trumbull throws in madison so they can all be together and show the virginians are kind of running things. four the first six presidents were virginians. see with the statue of cincinnatus that the cloak means something. this could mean he is really in haste to get out of there because mount vernon is a couple miles down the road and it is near christmas eve, 1783, or it could mean he is throwing off the cloak of leadership, literally the mantle of power is the phrase we like to use.
8:36 pm
one of the way you can see the subordination of the military to the civilian power, it is subtle but this guy is actually higher than washington. charles thompson, the secretary to a crowd is higher of washingtonians, no surprise the bureaucracy really is the power, right? for is where you go locating the center of civil authority. come back to this painting later on on your own and see if you can tell anymore signs and lessons it has to teach. the grand manner of historical painting is replaced by a romantic period of painting. it is supposed to evoke feeling, supposed to be looking at
8:37 pm
emotions, dark or fo foreboding. this is him crossing the delaware. the legislature of north carolina who had commissioned at decided not to take it after all because it is kind of moody, right? artistdone by a quicker edward hicks. the romantic style starts to supplant the grand style and you can see it grow in the 1800s. lloydatomy is a manual crossing the delaware. the first part in the 1850's was damage, so the one at the met
8:38 pm
now is a second copy. the first copy was destroyed by the air force in world war ii which was considered great britain's last revenge. the other neat thing about this painting is of course he is playing fast and loose. history painting is not as archival as it is and no blame -- in no blame he has no qualms with making stuff up which makes it a very interesting painting to read because everything in it was meant to be interpreted for one reason or another. one of the things i like best is they say this person here for example, i do not know if you can see it. part of the way she looks, people think this is a woman and they think that because everyone in the boat, she is the only one rowing in the right direction. there might be something to that. i do not know. also, unlike trumbull and copley
8:39 pm
he was not very careful about who he populated the boat with. he did not go around and try to find out who was actually in the boat or the descendents. would pay, the guy was r and he goescer i to pick the painting without mercer, he would paint his son. leutze does not have those kind withruples allegis pays anyone. there is an african-american, all kinds of frontiersmen. the boat is not like people to put it used, but one historian has said, if everyone who said they have an ancestor in washington's crossing the delaware would count, there would be more people in the boat that actually came over on the mayflower. another famous leutze painting is much more chromatic. i do not know if you have --
8:40 pm
dramatic. i do not know if you have seen this. it is george washington at the battle of mammoth. clear-cut, but the faces it shows -- all of these guys, some of them are in english and are retreating from the british lines because charles leale has told him to retreat in washington comes up from behind the line says, what are you doing? everyone is in turmoil except for washington and that is precisely the point. that is the emotion leutze is calling the attention to. not that washington is excited or upset, which he was, some sunken to present this is the only time they remember washington swear. he is seething underneath, but this is the only face that shows restraint.
8:41 pm
before the end of the 19th century, another history painting is starting to evolve and it relies very much on the american revolution. it is the genre style shifting focus to everyday activity of people and coincides with the mechanical means of mass-producing box, illustrated books. the more books in the hands of the common people, it makes publishers want consumers to see themselves in the illustrations. you find a lot of chandra paintings around this time done by illustrators of the battle of bunker hill. it, and ito think of think i made this up but it is pretty closely to the truth, genre style painting shows everyday people in historical settings or historical figures in everyday settings.
8:42 pm
in this case you see every day people in a historical setting, literally watching the battle of punk or hill like we are watching the battle of bunker hill from the rooftops, from a different perspective five years later. it is not some grand moment in the battle. it is literally the common soldiers, nameless, anonymous, marching up. some of them are looking at their fallen comrades. how does this compare to the grand style history painting? a century earlier john trumbull is doing this and in this painting the grand style, has a biography written about them, trust me. none of these guys are anonymous. i pick this as an example although it has nothing to do with george washington because it is here in washington dc and i think we have to promote washington dc when we can. it is the boston boys and
8:43 pm
general gauge painted by henry bacon. it shows a bunch of young soon-to-be americans protested british soldiers before the american revolution. look for it next time you are on the george washington campus. thomas prichard rossiter paints a washington family home circa 1850, very genre themed. washington with a victoria themed squire, the idea of family life. washington as a farmer, 1850, not just a farmer but a slaveholder. i tried with stearns to see if he had any reason for depicting slavery as a benign institution but i was not able to determine that. john moore dunsmore, washington's plus birthday,
8:44 pm
1799. thomas 1799.day as stephanie's married off to his nephew. this is a -- step niece married off to his nephew. genre scene by john ward dunsmore. i include this one partly because it shows george washington not in a magisterial sense of establishing washington like with savage but show some th of tellingpa others where to go. also this is in washington d c. .c. favorite. look at it carefully. 's studio.
8:45 pm
mage to gilbert stuart. it is a picture of a painter painting a picture. it does not get any more behind the scenes than that. illustratorhe great of the genre style. this is george washington crossing the delaware river where he was received to be inaugurated in 1789, painted in 1930. . this painting is not really about washington, is it? if you look close, you can see the mostly needed, personalized portraits are not of washington at all. it is of a young woman throwing pedals at his feet.
8:46 pm
this is really a portrait of a young woman captured and history. while he was painting this for a bank in trenton, he took a spill from the scaffolding, had a near-death experience, and during the experience he dreamt that he met george washington, city recorded a painting called "in a dream i meet george washington." the guy he says is george washington is just some generic revolutionary war figure. he has got to be george washington, so that is why he used this painting to help me make the transition to iconography. what is so special about the iconographic style? it is just as representational but its means and effect are more indirect and abstract because washington is used as a means to some other end.
8:47 pm
unlike portraits are history paintings which teach history or the romantic mode, try to excite moods or lessons, or genre which are set pieces to entertain, iconography uses washington as a symbol of something else or uses something else as a symbol of george washington. for example, before anyone knew what george washington looked same era as the almanac covers, she wanted to convey the image of george a picture, to show but not cut it, because you do not know what he looked like so you would give the greatest leader of all, julius caesar. you know there is some link to the roman republic. i am going to race through the horatio reno's famous statue of washington and sees, but i would be remiss to not to show it and
8:48 pm
show some of the iconographic zeus,dents, statue of olympia's, famous painting of napoleon, 1811. i think he has an interesting career. capital,stalled in the and people say, they did not like the nakedness, so they had to remove it, but that is one of the reasons he would not move into the lawn, right? there is a story there and i am not prepared to tell the subtext of the story. i do want to move on really quickly, because i want to make sure we have time. this is maybe the most part that temperature hearts more.
8:49 pm
this is the famous regionalist from the midwest in the 1930's, 'nd this is called parson weems fable. it is one of the colonial revival movement and part of the ancestral worship. building up is the historical characters through mythmaking and debunking myths is the other side of the coin. attacks the mythic images or icons. this?an i say about the most noticeable thing is the ubiquitous gilbert stuart had painted in washington was 64, fully white-haired on the body of an eight-year-old cutting
8:50 pm
down his father's tree. parson wings, and early biographer who propagated the story from his childhood is holding back the curtain, on his own inventiveness. compare that to charles wilson portrait. --wood literally find this composition around the famous portrait. he is trying the curtain back on a package reality with specimens neatly packed. this is the natural history museum in philadelphia. historyus natural collection like weems' story is a fabrication. it is a reality frozen in time like the stuffed birds on display. washington is static and unchanged, the same at eight as
8:51 pm
he was at 64. his other famous image, daughters of the revolution, daughters of revolution wanted to show how blue haired ladies like this can actually serve as the establishment against the kind of movement that gave birth to united states in the first place. terss supposed to be dar of the american revolution and read what wanted to show by 1932 when this was done, how much they had betrayed that legacy by becoming an establishment against which grant what would be happy to revolt. the darnd of dissing for having fun obstacles in his way. he was commissioned to do artwork for a church and the stained glass company he had commissioned to do the work was based in germany and the years
8:52 pm
after world war i, the business with german companies was considered unpatriotic, and so they threw this in a way -- in the way of executing the commission. this was his payback. you will see the equally ubiquitous washington crossing the delaware in the background, but it is really faded, isn't it? it is a faded legacy of the american revolution. i have not read this, but i have seen images that remind me of visiting icons, the elongated cks which i imagine he intended to show their otherworldliness. robert coles got come in next 75 pains not george washington crossing the delaware by george washington carver crossing the delaware. he intended to point out racial stereotypes just as deeply as ;s images are.
8:53 pm
exploration private and personal statement of the forthcoming bicentennial, get 1975. you have probably seen this installed recently in the national gallery of american art . same thing, but another version i wanted to draw attention to in my last minute is larry rivers from 1953, the crossing. i will read my notes so i do not stutter and take up time. rivers' study of the crossing taps a fractured light on historical narrative, ms. building and human nature altogether. no one, not even george washington, vaguely emerging as the figure on the horse and off-center. this is the washington, not this guy, this is the washington readily identifiable.
8:54 pm
each man moves in his own murky reality, unlike the common cause short bright -- showed by leutze . he did this after reading about the chaos and more -- of war and the noble "war and peace." the point is as much a stick image, washington is so famous that he does not even need to be in the picture of george washington. we know because it is the crossing and the guy on the horse that washington was there. that symbols are identified with washington long enough and they persist long enough, eventually washington comes to stand for that symbol in turn. to demonstrate that, we all know this painting. you want to talk about the economy, just go up and throw up a dollar bill. you do not even need to mention his name. big economy is doing that -- the economy is doing bad.
8:55 pm
this is another portrait in reverse. we know this is a dollar bill and we know the message he is trying to teach. washington is so famous he of the ego.u now he is holding the arrows in the laurel wreath. lincolnng to close with after stewart done in the bicentennial. this shows the complexity of iconography and how it plays with the mind. we look at this and fully expect to see george washington come all of the trappings of the image, but instead we see lincoln and we do a double take, right? thatnted to demonstrate not just that this is a famous washington is but that each
8:56 pm
president, washington and lincoln, have a lot in common. presidentsoth major who started historical legacies, the nation and the post-subordination and the legacies left unfinished today. i will close with the original, so, q&a. here is your chance. while you are thinking about q&a, we have a little bit of s.me, i have the lovely pin i do not know where i got them called it the first of the two goes to someone who could tell me where is the other one in washington dc? i saw your hand first. done by gilbert stuart? that is the thing. all of the paintings i know in
8:57 pm
the office buildings, much less in the capital are copies of these copies, so i might have to stop you. i saw this lady's. >> the white house. good forcomantonio: you. , hownow what, my point was can i forget the white house? i know, right? good to see. it is a george washington university. name forally have one the original owners. they have one. i think it is a full one. i will have to look again. >> when they took it down at the portrait gallery they replaced it with a 3/4.
8:58 pm
before icomantonio: give up the other one, give me time to think of another question. do you have any questions for me? of washington? let's stick with washington. the portrait with both george and martha. i do not know what the other ones are. i suspect they have quite a few but i cannot tell you. you remind me that i need to go back. i'm sorry, the portrait gallery. >> you mentioned gilbert stuart used this one painting as a model for others. how long would it have taken him to crank out another one of these, the turnaround time to sell it? mr. digiacomantonio: of course,
8:59 pm
whofriend just left would've been ideally suited to answer the question. i do not know how long it took to turn around. , the thing that the master had to take care of was the face and hands. after the gus was covered by clothing and you could get other people in your studio studying under you to do those. you could turn them around fairly quickly. another was, the master is responsible for anything you see on the campus. i do not know how quick they spent the night, but there are 75 floating out there, i imagine them it could be done ready expeditiously. what are your thoughts of martha washington's portrait? mr. digiacomantonio: i do not have much thought about it. later, yes. reallyone during that,
9:00 pm
the colonial revival style. i can tell you this, without even having a clear mental image of it, she never wore those close. thes, very victorian. or that in mind when you see it, that sometimes these people there are no relation to reality. the very first picture, he is wearing a sash. a few pages later, he is wearing a different one. a bell sash? wore in everye battle. i never see any of these portraits.
9:01 pm
i have never heard anyone say anything about this. sash thatgonal blue he wears as commander-in-chief, that may correlate to very specific rules to what uniforms looked like back then. i don't know if he made up the will and incorporated the sash. i figured maybe a sash further down. i know the blue one, either washington said it needed to be or it is what you wear as commander-in-chief. >> how do you think it was that we have seen all of these other painted?of everybody
9:02 pm
how did he figure out that he would like george c scott? [laughter] knewt a lot of people about savage. you are suggesting that there is some unfairness in that. savage is more realistic. a lot of these primitives, i am a hugesome unfairness in that. than of american folk art. i think it shows that reality that we missed. when we see a new smooth phase or recollection, we think that is the better piece. of some ofinding us the deeper truths about human character. it is someone who looks with the eye of less educated and academic.
9:03 pm
by the way, i should say that savage was jarvis's teacher. he hated the fact that he was associated with him as a student. i am not a huge fan of jarvis. painting.s that you didn't show the pending. he does look like an old man. but not like george c scott. bad? that good or >> it is a very realistic portrait. i understand it was commissioned by the masons. he looks like a tired old guy. >> toward the end of his
9:04 pm
presidency, he was not the teflon president that he was. that is unfair as well, teflon suggests that people were throwing things at him. for the first couple of years, that was unfair, he did not have people throwing things at him. between the traditionalists and the becomeiles forced him to less-than-perfect in other people's eyes. he seems that he will take up arms against his own people. he became just another politician toward the end. he had studied how to play and he did not play it well. that is a good point. when you are looking at portraits, you see this tired old manthat is a or maybe he jus to go back to the plantation. we know that he had a rebirth when he went back to the plantation.
9:05 pm
he was at root a squire. a businessman, a very entrepreneurial businessmen. he was a farmer. i imagine he got a boost of energy when he went back in 1798. those pictures were from the talent of his second administration. look at obama. he has great hair now. it doesn't have to look bad. other questions? >> you talked about his history with martha. since we would have to put these -- up fourfour days days.
9:06 pm
those with evens you did. washington in particular did not appreciate it. some of these people like that you goes stroked and gratifying ways. i did not get that from washington. entries, he felt it was very time-consuming. washington did not appreciated. they're in mind that this was the guy abided by the rules of hospitality at the time. he would put you up if you so much as shown up at his door. to be an artist with a mission like painting you, he definitely let him in. experience ofis getting the cast for , it wasn't just washington sitting there. he was covered with plaster. he breathed through straws for a
9:07 pm
long time. if you try to do that with me, that will not go. youington did it because don't cross the atlantic in order to do it. he submitted graciously, hopefully. any other questions? peter, nothing? >> i saw it several years ago, the portrait. what i remember about it was that it was said that it was the only portrait where his youthful pock marks showed in the painting. >> that is one of the reasons why a look so real? is why he had pock marks early in the life. during why he was able the revolution to survive it. you do not draw
9:08 pm
attention to them in a portrait just like you did not show fdr's disabilities. that does make you a better human we know now. any other questions? discounts there is that deal with george washington , please take those. if you do have any other questions, help opry to email me. we will be looking for future book talks. see youlways happy to guys showing up in the dead of summer. thank you for coming by.
9:09 pm
[captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] history to be marks the 75th anniversary of the pearl harbor attack on saturday december 10. we will show archival films, first-person accounts from civilians and veterans. calls, that isur saturday, december 10. right here, only on c-span3. special section of c-span.org to help you follow the supreme court. once on our support page, you'll
9:10 pm
see four of the most recent arguments. click on the view all-league -- view all link. it will include one-on-one interviews with justices kagan, thomas and ginsburg. there is a calendar for this term. follow the supreme court at c-span.org. >> next on american history tv, colonel edward shame recalls his world war ii experiences. he tells the story of the screaming eagles jumping into normandy on d-day and the fight to capture kettler's eagles nt

8 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on