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Gilbert Stuart
John Adams
1826
oil
30 x 25 1/8 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Adams-Clement Collection, Gift of Mary Louisa Adams Clement in memory of her mother, Louisa Catherine Adams Clement



Cushioned in the protective corner of a cherry red sofa, John Adams sits with the dignity of an elder statesman. His direct gaze and bemused expression hint at his legendary intellectual prowess and strength of character. A major figure in the revolutionary government, Adams later served as second president of the United States and as a postwar diplomat. The portrait commemorates a lifetime of service to the new American nation.