alt.obituaries Memorial Deadpool
was a prolific painter, best known for his portraits of government officials
and other prominent individuals. Though it's likely most wouldn't know the
name, one will recognize at least one of his works, that being John F. Kennedy's
official White House portrait.
artist tied to high society, Shikler's early career wasn't so illustrious. His
first commissioned portrait was rejected, and many of his early works were of
ballerinas and clowns, painted for the sake of money. He was so repulsed by the
kitschy subject matter that he snarkily signed these works as "Phil I.
Steen." He hit a lucky break when his work caught the eye of
philanthropist Jane Engelhard, which opened up new opportunities for Shikler to
paint many figures of note.
Kennedy (by then a widow, not yet an Onassis) became a fan of Shikler after
seeing his paintings of Peter and Patricia Kennedy Lawford's children. From
there, Shikler painted pastel portraits of Jackie and her children, and she later
commissioned him to paint the White House portraits for both herself and John
portrait of President Kennedy was unveiled in 1970, seven years after Kennedy's
assassination. A photo of Ted Kennedy at his brother's grave inspired the pose.
In contrast to most presidential portraits, which look at the viewer or to the
side and which Shikler considered "God-forsaken postage-stamp portraits,"
his Kennedy is pensive and looking downward. This was done not with the intent
to mourn Kennedy, but to capture the rarity of, in Shikler's words, "a
president who was a thinker."
painted President-elect Reagan—who, at one point, dozed off during their
session—for the cover of Time magazine. Shikler once again used a "thinker"
pose; however, Nancy Reagan wasn't too keen on it. Although Nancy still
commissioned Shikler to paint her official White House portrait, Ronald Reagan
went to a different artist (that artist, Everett Kinstler, is still alive, four
years Shikler's junior).
died on November 12, aged 93, after suffering from kidney failure. Jefferson
Survives receives 7 points (2 for age, 5 for solo).
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