In Memoriam: J.D. Salinger (1919-2010) Portrait Goes on Display

"An artist's only concern is to shoot for some kind of perfection, and on his own terms, not anyone else's." —J.D. Salinger

J.D. Salinger, Robert Vickrey
1961 Portrait of J.D. Salinger (1919-2010) by Robert Vickrey, tempera on board. [Credit: National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Time magazine. Art © Robert Vickrey/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY.]
WASHINGTON D.C. — J.D. Salinger (1919-2010), the famous reclusive author of The Catcher in the Rye, died Wednesday, Jan. 27 at the age of 91.

On Monday, in a gesture of remembrance, the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery installed a portrait of the author in a first-floor gallery designated to recently deceased individuals represented in the museum’s collection.

The portrait of Salinger was painted by American Contemporary Realist Robert Vickery. The artist used the ancient medium of tempera to depict Salinger against a metaphorical "amber wave of grain."

Vickery's image of the author first appeared on a 1961 cover of Time magazine. Time later donated the portrait to the Smithsonian in 1978; it hasn’t been on display since 1979.

[Source: Smithsonian Institution] 


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