Elihu Root

Copied James Earle Fraser, Elihu Root, 1926, bronze, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of an anonymous donor, 1929.16.1

Artwork Details

Title
Elihu Root
Date
1926
Dimensions
2018 346 58 in. (50.847.616.8 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of an anonymous donor
Mediums
Mediums Description
bronze
Classifications
Keywords
  • Portrait male — Root, Elihu — bust
Object Number
1929.16.1

Artwork Description

Elihu Root is one of James Earle Fraser’s many portraits, which also include sculptures of Theodore Roosevelt and Thomas Edison. Elihu Root was a successful lawyer before President McKinley appointed him secretary of war in 1899; in 1905 he was appointed secretary of state under Theodore Roosevelt, and then became a senator. Although he declined the Republican nomination for president, he remained active in politics for many years and was deeply involved in international relations. Fraser was defensive about making portraits, feeling that they should be included “among the greatest” of works. He was especially pleased with this portrait, claiming that when Elihu Root first saw it, he said, “If this feller took a check to the bank, I think they’d cash it without question.”