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Chester Alan Arthur

Chester Alan Arthur
Artist
George Peter Alexander Healy, 15 Jul 1813 - 24 Jun 1894
Sitter
Chester Alan Arthur, 5 Oct 1829 - 18 Nov 1886
Date
April 1884
Type
Painting
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
Sight: 74.3 × 61.6 cm (29 1/4 × 24 1/4")
Stretcher: 76.2 × 63.5 cm (30 × 25")
Frame: 98.4 × 86.4 × 8.9 cm (38 3/4 × 34 × 3 1/2")
Topic
Home Furnishings\Furniture\Seating\Chair
Personal Attribute\Facial Hair\Mustache
Costume\Jewelry\Pin
Personal Attribute\Facial Hair\Muttonchops
Costume\Outerwear\Coat\Jacket
Chester Alan Arthur: Male
Chester Alan Arthur: Politics and Government\Vice-President of US
Chester Alan Arthur: Politics and Government\President of US
Chester Alan Arthur: Science and Technology\Engineer\Military
Portrait
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; Gift from the Trustees of the Corcoran Gallery of Art (Gift of William Wilson Corcoran) The Corcoran Gallery of Art, one of the country’s first private museums, was established in 1869 to promote art and American genius. In 2014 the Works from the Corcoran Collection were distributed to institutions in Washington, D.C.
Restrictions & Rights
CC0
Object number
NPG.2019.21
Exhibition Label
Born Fairfield, Vermont
When Chester A. Arthur received the Republican Party’s nomination for vice president in 1880, he admitted, “This is a higher honor than I have ever dreamt of attaining.” His nomination, as well as that of presidential nominee James A. Garfield, formed part of a political compromise to unite a bitterly divided party. When Arthur assumed the presidency in 1881 after Garfield’s assassination, he unexpectedly jettisoned his longtime political allegiances. Arthur even surprised his critics by rejecting the cronyism from which he had profited, fighting corruption in the postal system and signing a law that required meritbased exams for entrance into many civil service positions.
In the early 1880s, the Corcoran Gallery of Art commissioned this portrait of the twenty-first president of the United States to augment its newly acquired collection of eminent personae. The portraitist George Peter Alexander Healy had created the original group of portraits for King Louis Philippe I of France.
Nacido en Fairfield, Vermont
Al ser nominado por el Partido Republicano para la vicepresidencia en 1880, Chester A. Arthur admitió: “Este honor es más de lo que jamás hubiera soñado”. Dicha nominación, como la del candidato presidencial James A. Garfield, fue parte de un arreglo político para unificar a un partido agriamente dividido. Al asumir la presidencia en 1881, tras el asesinato de Garfield, Arthur desechó inesperadamente sus antiguas alianzas políticas. Incluso sorprendió a sus críticos al rechazar el favoritismo del que se había beneficiado, además de combatir la corrupción en el sistema postal y firmar una ley que requería exámenes basados en méritos para muchos puestos de servicio público.
A principios de la década de 1880, la Galería de Arte Corcoran encargó este retrato del vigésimo primer presidente de Estados Unidos para aumentar su recién adquirida colección de personajes eminentes. El retratista George Peter Alexander Healy había creado el grupo original de retratos para el rey Luis Felipe I de Francia.
Provenance
William Wilson Corcoran [1798-1888]; Gift to the Corcoran Gallery of Art, 1884; Gift to NPG, 2019.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
Exhibition
Recent Acquisitions: Gifts from the Corcoran Gallery of Art
On View
NPG, North Gallery 140