Note on Art
This note from LeRoy Neiman looks at portraiture of former US president, Andrew Jackson. The record begins with a commentary on the relationship between the camera and painting, claiming the technology was not yet “developed [during Jackson’s term], so it was up to the talents of painters and supporters to land their versions and interpretations [of him through paintings].” This assertion is slightly misleading, because not only was the first partially successful photograph developed in 1816 (Jackson was president from 1829 to 1837) but there are in fact photographs of him. That said, the analogue camera wasn’t on the road to becoming what it is today until the late 19th century, with introduction of photographic film by Kodak in 1888. Neiman’s comment can then be seen as more of a pointing to photographs’ scarcity rather than an objective reality. After this discussion, Neiman moves on to providing historical facts about the president. And on the reverse page, the artist relays an aesthetic assessment of the man.
Neiman made portrait of Jackson in 2006 that has since been widely distributed as a poster. The writings on the document’s reverse then connect to this piece. In addition, when looking at this work’s composition and subject matter, it aligns with the artist’s portraits of other powerful men, i.e. Lincoln and Napoleon. Much like these other pieces, Neiman left little commentary on the nature of his interest.
Text Item Type Metadata
It must be taken into account that the camera was not yet developed so it was up to the talents of painters and sculptors to level their versions and interpretations the survivor dependent on the artistic talents. It can be assumed the artists commissioned were expected to be flattering.
Death masks were valuable
Andrew Jackson power and population
backed by popular mandate
2 terms – the American lion
fame from Battle of New Orleans
Landlord victory in 1828 – first time a pres was elevated entirely on the strength of popular support
Jackson was held in low regard by backwardness but his
The [?] class passed judgement of his frontier background and popularity
Jackson [?] at the headwaters of the Civil War
“The people sir are with me.” J. quote /
DEC 17 1819
20 21 22
Jan 1 Holiday
10 days Christmas time
end of year
Jackson has whole mane of hair which on the statue was somewhat matted down by his
([?]) military uniform hat