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Edward A. Kay
Gerald Ford Totem Pole
1974
painted wood and metal with found objects
91 x 12 1/2 in. diam.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr. and museum purchase made possible by Ralph Cross Johnson



In this witty variation on a traditional Indian totem pole, Kay paid homage to Gerald Ford, who became president of the United States after Richard Nixon's resignation. Ford sits on top of the U.S. Capitol, wearing a University of Michigan football uniform (he played center there in the 1940s). Below him are a grinning Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, the solemn Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, and former President Nixon, his lips sealed with a safety pin.