Of President Lincoln, H.L.Mencken writes (Selected Prejudices,
p.207), "His official portraits, both in prose and in daguerrotype
show him wearing the mien of a man about to be hanged; one never sees
him smiling. Nevertheless, one hears that, until he emerged from Illinois,
they always put the women, children and clergy to bed when he got
a few gourds of corn whiskey aboard..."
02 - “Kennedy carefully controlled the production of photographs
to ensure that he was always presented as the character he had chosen
to play. No photographs were allowed showing him eating, smoking cigars,
playing golf, or kissing his wife.” Hellman, pp 132-3.
03 - That the Nixon presidential campaign of 1968 was based on
the still photographic work by David Douglas Duncan, a friend
of the candidate, but Nixon’s face “would not be on the screen. Instead
there would be pictures, and hopefully, the pictures would prevent
people from paying too much attention to the words.” McGinnis,
04 - The Sincerity Machine described by Max Atkinson, p.67 Ronald
Reagan speaking at Westminster in 1982, “The words on the transparent
screens can only be seen by the speaker and are invisible to the audience.
They are reflected on to the screens from TV sets facing upwards from
the floor… Behind the scenes an assistant winds the script
in front of the TV camera which relays it into the hall.”
05. Interview with Cornell Capa who had photographed Adlai
Stevenson on the Election Trail in 1952 and supported him politically.
None of his photographs had the impact of another .. "the famous picture
of the hole in Stevenson's shoe. Whether the photographer saw it or
not, the Associated Press editor saw it and enalrged it. The most
famous photograph of Adlai Stevenson was taken right in front of my
nose and I didn't take it. For the next twelve years when I was photographing
Stevenson, I kept on telling people about my great love for him and
all he stood for and all the wonderful pictures I have taken... "Oh
you must have taken the picture with the hole in the shoe." So
there you are..." quoted in John Loengrad, LIFE photographers,
What they Saw Bulfinch, Boston 1998, p.256, illustrated
p.255, see also editorial manipulation of photographs of Attleee
and Churchill 1951.06 -
Karsh, “here are Kruschev and Kennedy, architects of liberal
transformation in their two great powers, who moved from mutual confrontation
toward mutual understanding.”p.9 Portfolio. … Within each
of them lies an essential element which has made them great. I acll
it the ‘ inward power’…” In Karsh’s
portrait of Churchill, his pugnacity was not his determination of
purpose “defiant and unconquerable”, but was generated
by the photographer’s sudden removal of the Prime Minister’s
cigar from his teeth. p.34)
07 - Daniel Boorstine, written during Kennedy’s reign in 1961,
quotes Walter Lippman,’s influential book Public Opinion
1922, “The pictures inside the heads of these human
beings, the pictures of themselves, of others, of their needs, purposes
and relationship, are their public opinions. These pictures are
acted upon by groups of people are Public Opinion with capital letters.” P.233.
Boorstin sees the global drift from ideals (ideas even) to images
in the creation of Pseudo Events and Self-Delusion.
- Manchester above, MacArthur was ordered to meet Roosevelt in
Honolulu and complained at being ordered away from the War Front,”for
a political picture taking junket.” He nearly got more than
he anticipated when Roosevelt spotted that the General’s
flies were undone. “Do you see what I see ?” the
President whispered delightedly to one of the White House photographers. “Quick
get a shot of it.” The cameraman was focussing his lens
when the General, giving him a look of icy disdain, crossed
Peter Hurd's official portrait of Lyndon Johnson, meeting at the
President's ranch in October, 1965, and driving around in a car, "And
we had to tell them that that the President did not like -
indeed, hardly any one liked - the portrait that Peter had
worked so hard on...When Lyndon said he did not like the eyes,
Peter made a good case for the dreamy expression in them. 'This
man was looking off into the future - this man had vision." And
I did not like the background and this he said he could change,
and would. He was the first to admit that the body, and especially
the hands, were not good, and because he had not enough sittings...
And the parapet that Lyndon was standing against has no meaning
to me. It was a gruesomely uncomfortable half-hour. But there
is one thing one has a right to express oneself on - and that
is one's own portrait... The final conclusion was that Peter
would work again on the background, reduce the painting in
size so as to omit the hands, and perhaps just leave the Capital
dome lighted. And we would look at it again." Lady Bird
WHITE HOUSE DIARY, Weidenfeld and Nicholson, London
Lady Bird oversees Gilroy Roberts' design for the Presidential
think the hardest thing for a sculptor to capture is the eyes, and
the eyes were wonderful and the brow and the shape of the head.
(Lyndon, I think, has a rather magnificently shaped head.) The
ears were just as big as Lyndon's are and I wouldn't have them
the slightest bit smaller. The mouth I didn't really like much...
I suggested a slight change to the mouth. Mr.Roberts made the
change - and I liked it better."
DIARY as 09, pp. 17,18.