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Portrait of J.D. Salinger by Robert Vickery on View at the National Portrait Gallery
"J. D. Salinger", Robert Vickrey, 1961. Tempera on board. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; Gift of Time Magazine. ©Robert Vickrey/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY. NPG.78.TC723.
WASHINGTON, DC.- The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery installed a portrait of J.D. Salinger by Robert Vickery Monday, Feb.1. It was on view when the museum opened to the public. in a first-floor gallery that is designated for remembrance of recently deceased individuals represented in the
museum’s collection.

Jerome David Salinger had one of the great successes of all time with The Catcher in the Rye (1951). He then vanished, publishing only a few collections of short stories and emerging only to sue people who attempted to write about him; his last publication was in 1965. Yet Catcher in the Rye remains a classic. Its teenaged narrator Holden Caulfield’s account of a weekend in Manhattan continues to speak to disaffected adolescents kicking against the “phonies.” It has sold more than 65 million copies worldwide and is still occasionally banned by education administrators who fear its corrupting impact on alienated youth.

Here, in a way that Salinger (and Caulfield) would have appreciated, artist Robert Vickery interprets the book’s title literally and paints the author against an amber wave of grain. The portrait was created for the September 15, 1961, edition of Time magazine.

National Portrait Gallery | Robert Vickery | Portrait of J.D. Salinger |


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