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Woodrow Wilson

Woodrow Wilson
Artist
John Christen Johansen, 25 Nov 1876 - 23 Jun 1964
Sitter
Woodrow Wilson, 28 Dec 1856 - 3 Feb 1924
Date
c. 1919
Type
Painting
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
Stretcher: 77 × 63.8 × 3.3cm (30 5/16 × 25 1/8 × 1 5/16")
Frame: 90.8 x 78.3 x 3.2cm (35 3/4 x 30 13/16 x 1 1/4")
Topic
Costume\Dress Accessory\Eyeglasses
Woodrow Wilson: Male
Woodrow Wilson: Law and Law Enforcement\Lawyer
Woodrow Wilson: Literature\Writer
Woodrow Wilson: Education and Scholarship\Educator\Professor\University
Woodrow Wilson: Education and Scholarship\Administrator\University administrator\University president
Woodrow Wilson: Politics and Government\President of US
Woodrow Wilson: Politics and Government\Governor\New Jersey
Woodrow Wilson: Nobel Prize
Portrait
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; transfer from the Smithsonian American Art Museum; gift of an anonymous donor, 1926
Restrictions & Rights
CC0
Object number
NPG.65.84
Exhibition Label
Twenty-eighth president, 1913–1921
Elected president after earning a sterling reputation as the governor of New Jersey, Woodrow Wilson remained committed to curbing abusive business practices and improving conditions for workers. In the wake of World War I, he tried to create a world order that would choose to prioritize peace over national self-interest, but his idealism was dismissed, both at home and abroad. The frustration Wilson felt from this rejection was compounded by his failure to convince his own country to support the League of Nations, an international organization he had conceived of as a means for avoiding future wars.
He suffered a stroke in 1919 while campaigning for American entry into the League and left office in 1921, broken in both health and spirit. Wilson is most often remembered as a champion of liberal values, but recent scrutiny has drawn attention to his regressive actions with regard to women’s voting rights and segregation in the government, as well as other violations of civil rights.
In June 1919, John Christen Johansen, a Danish-born artist living in Chicago, made portraits of the dignitaries during the negotiations of the Treaty of Versailles. This sketch, which he made for a larger group portrait, depicts Wilson just months before his stroke.
28o presidente, 1913–1921
Electo presidente luego de haberse forjado una reputación intachable como gobernador de Nueva Jersey, Woodrow Wilson continuó su campaña contra las prácticas comerciales abusivas y en pro de mejorar las condiciones para los trabajadores. Recién terminada la 1ra Guerra Mundial, trató de crear un orden mundial que prefiriera la paz a los intereses nacionales, pero su idealismo fue desdeñado tanto en EE.UU. como en el extranjero. Su frustración ante este rechazo se agravó cuando no logró convencer a su propio país de apoyar a la Liga de las Naciones, una organización internacional que él había concebido con el fin de evitar guerras futuras.
En 1919 sufrió un derrame cerebral cuando hacía campaña para que EE.UU. entrara a la Liga de las Naciones y dejó la presidencia en 1921, quebrantado de salud y de espíritu. A Wilson se le recuerda sobre todo como defensor de los valores liberales, pero investigaciones recientes han puesto de relieve sus actos retrógrados con respecto al sufragio femenino y la segregación en el gobierno, así como otros derechos civiles.
En junio de 1919, John Christen Johansen, artista danés radicado en Chicago, creó retratos de los dignatarios que asistieron a las negociaciones del Tratado de Versalles. Este boceto hecho para un retrato de grupo muestra a Wilson pocos meses antes de su derrame cerebral.
Provenance
Gift of an anonymous donor to NCFA through (Mrs. Elizabeth A. Rogerson, Arden Studios, New York)1926 ; transferred 1965 to NPG.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
Exhibition
America's Presidents (Reinstallation September 2017)
On View
NPG, West Gallery 210