James Buchanan

  • Henry Dexter, James Buchanan, modeled ca. 1859, painted plaster, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum acquisition, XX4

Luce Center Label

When Henry Dexter set out to create his portrait gallery of the fifteenth U.S. president and all the governors, he began at the White House. Buchanan expressed surprise that a Massachusetts artist would want to sculpt him, since he was unpopular there. The artist reportedly said, “We have some crazy heads,” to which Buchanan replied, “All are.” Buchanan sat for Dexter in a room in the White House daily, and the president treated the ambitious artist with “great cordiality.” This bust was in the collection of Buchanan’s beloved niece and adopted daughter Harriet Lane Johnston at the time of her death.

Title
James Buchanan
Artist
Date
modeled ca. 1859
Location
Dimensions
24 1/2 x 14 7/8 x 11 7/8 in. (62.2 x 37.9 x 30.2 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Museum acquisition

Mediums
Mediums Description
painted plaster
Classifications
Keywords
  • Portrait male – Buchanan, James – bust
  • Occupation – political – president
Object Number
XX4
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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