James Buchanan / 1857-1861, from the portfolio Hindsight is Always 20/20

  • R. Luke DuBois, James Buchanan / 1857-1861, from the portfolio Hindsight is Always 20/20, 2008, letterpress on paper, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment, 2011.9.14, © 2008, R. Luke DuBois

Exhibition Label

 

 

 

In Hindsight is Always 20/20, Luke DuBois took the State of the Union addresses from each presidency and sorts them according to word frequency. The artist then printed the most frequently appearing works as an eye chart for each president, with the more frequently used words in larger type at the top of the chart and the less frequently used words toward the bottom. The traditional eye chart includes sixty-six letters; Luke DuBois’s charts substitute sixty-six words. The lists contain words that are not only important for the issues addressed by each president but also give an impression of how language was used at the time. Each of the forty-one presidencies to have State of the Union addresses (William Henry Harrison and James Garfield died before they could submit a single message to Congress) has its own eye chart. The chart for James Buchanan gives a concise overview of the issues facing the country just prior to the Civil War.

Multiplicity, 2011

 

 

 

Title
James Buchanan / 1857-1861, from the portfolio Hindsight is Always 20/20
Artist
Printer
Publisher
Date
2008
Location
Not on view
Dimensions
sheet and image: 21 1/4 x 28 1/4 in. (54.0 x 71.8 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment

Mediums Description
letterpress on paper
Classifications
Keywords
  • Occupation – political – president
  • History – United States
Object Number
2011.9.14
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI