Few Americans in the twentieth century have left a greater legacy to world peace than George C. Marshall (1880-1959). As chief of staff of the United States Army during World War II, it fell to Marshall to raise, train, and equip an army of several million men. It was Marshall who selected the officer corps and it was Marshall who played a leading role in planning military operations on a global scale. In the end, it was Marshall whom British Prime Minister Winston Churchill hailed as "the true organizer of victory."
Yet history will associate Marshall foremost as the author of the Marshall Plan. The idea of extending billions of American dollars for European economic recovery was not his alone. He was only one of many Western leaders who realized the tragic consequences of doing nothing for those war-shattered countries in which basic living conditions were deplorable and still deteriorating two years after the end of the fighting. But Marshall, more than anyone else, led the way. In an address at Harvard University on June 5, 1947, Marshall, in his capacity as secretary of state, articulated the general principles of the Marshall Plan. Between 1948 and 1951, the United States contributed more than thirteen billion dollars of economic, agricultural, and technical assistance toward the recovery of free Europe. The Marshall Plan was generally acclaimed a success in its day and has admirably withstood the rigors of historical inquiry. Moreover, it gave impetus to the formation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and to the European Common Market. In recognition of Marshall's world leadership, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1953.
To commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the Marshall Plan, the National Portrait Gallery and the George C. Marshall Foundation have produced this exhibition, remembering Marshall and the leaders with whom he helped shape history for much of the twentieth century.
The exhibition and the catalogue have been made possible by a generous grant from the Bayer Corporation Pharmeceutical Division
Note: The portraits featured here represent a small segment of the actual exhibition
The Marshall Children / Lucas Photo Gallery
The Marshall-Coles Wedding / Unidentified photographer
First Classman Marshall / Michael Miley and Son
General John J. Pershing / Sir William Orpen
Dwight D. Eisenhower / Harry Warnecke
General Marshall / Harry Warnecke
"The High Command" / Augustus Vincent Tack
Harry S. Truman / Harris and Ewing Studio
Joseph Stalin / Samuel J. Woolf
George F. Kennan / Ned Seidler
Dean Acheson / Gardner Cox
All Our Colours to the Mast / Reyn Dirksen
George C. Marshall / Thomas Edgar Stephens
Douglas MacArthur / Howard Chandler Christy
Eulogy to Marshall /Bill Mauldin