You are on page 1of 3

ExploringEisenhower:Ike

Topic:EisenhowersPaintings
Goal:VisitorswillunderstandthatEisenhowerspaintingsarereflectiveofperiodsofhislifeandhow
heusedthemasatoolduringhisPresidency.
Theme:Eisenhowerspaintingsarereflectiveofperiodsofhislife,asamatteroffact,Iarguethis
helpedenablehimtobetterconsider/makedecisionsduringhisPresidency.
Tangibles:IkesPaintings
Intangibles:Creativity,Brainstorming,andEmotions.(Hadtroublecomingupwiththese)
UniversalConcepts:Emotions
Introduction:DwightDavidEisenhoweristypicallyrememberedforhisleadershipandtactical
skillsasbothSupremeAlliedCommanderandPresidentoftheUnitedStates.However,thereis
anotherskill,atwhichIkeexcelledat:Painting.Now,Imgoingtotakeyouthroughthejourneyof
IketheArtist.Ikesworksarefolkinstyleyetskilledindirectcommunication,reflectingmoments
withinhislifeandalso,perhapshowhemanagedtomakedecisionsamidstthemoredifficult
moments.
Transition:But,first,howdidIkecometotheartofpainting?Justlikeeverypaintinghasafirst
brushstroke,Ikestimeasapainterhasabeginningaswell.
WalktoBenches
1. GettingStarted
a. Quotes:ThepurposeofartiswashingthedustofdailylifeoffoursoulsPicasso
&Topaint,youjustsitdownandattackthecanvas.Churchill
b. OtherPresidentPainters(Grant,Bush,Carter)
c. Noearlyurge
d. 1947PresidentofColumbiaThomasE.Stephens(Mamiesbow=1ftlong)
i. Why?:HumorStephens,Churchill,Challenge,Color(Enjoyment).
Transition:Whateverthereason,Ikebeganproducinghundredsofpaintingswithinatwentyyear
period,butjustlikeanyotherartistIkehadhisownstyleinbothsubjectandlocation
2. Ike:ThePainter
a. WheretoPaint:Attic(hidebehindapaintbrushandlistentowhatallthegals
weresayinginthenextroom.Mamierestlessness),SunPorch,Secondfloor
roomnearfamilyquartersatWhiteHouse(postlunchrest)
b. What:16x20,landscapesandportraits,Americana/familiar.Copiedfrom
pictures/postcards.Oftengivenasgifts,tokenoffriendship{HarrimanFallingout
duetoIkespresidency,yetstillhaveIkespainting)
c. DavidsPOVNomutedcolors,worldofsharpdistinctions.Straightforward
communication,pastoralwithnoviolence.Chattingwithotherbecamestreamof
consciousness,wanderedfromsubjecttosubject,triggeredbyimagesontheeasel.

Transition:Now,IkesGrandsonDavidnotonlyofferedawindowintoIkethePainter,butalso
hintedhowreflectivethepaintingsareofIkeslife.
3. Paintings
a. Normandy(1951)
i. Background
ii. Problems/Distress
iii. Sentimentofeternalpeacereflectedinpastoralnatureofpainting.
Transition:WhiletheNormandylandscapereflectsEisenhowersmilitarycareer,thenextone
reflectswhatIkethoughtwerehisretirementyears

b. GettysburgFarm(1950)
i. BuyingHome
ii. CivilWarEra
iii. Winteratmospherereflectstransitionperiod.
Transition:Yet,Ikewouldlearnquicklythathisdayswerentgoingtobespendpaintingathis
GettysburgFarmonly,infacthispaintingswouldcontinuetoreflecthislifehalfwayacrossthe
world
c.

FrenchGarden(1952)
i. N.A.T.OApril1949,SupremeAlliedCommander1951
ii. AgiftforSusan,colorsperhapsreflectshappinessandlovetowardsher

Transition:Quickly,theleadershipandgoalofcollaborationIkesoughtinNATOspilledoverinto
hisroleasPresident,whichwasnotwithoutitschallenges/hardships.However,Eisenhowers
paintingscontinuedtoofferrelaxationandrefreshbothhismindandspiritthrougheventhetoughest
oftimes,includinghishealth
d. St.LouisCreek(1955)
i. HeartAttack&NewCoverage
ii. Ikeshealthleadingloneliness,paintingreflectsthatsentiment
Transition:EvenintohisretirementIkekeptuphispaintingwithagreatgusto
e.

WinterBirches(1964)
i. FloydBodlum(Californialawyermadefortune,rentedoutofficespaceto
Ike)
ii. RetirementYears{WordintheDictionaryElderStatesmenAdvising
Kennedy,L.B.J,etc.Goldwatersupport)
iii. Paintingusessplashofredincentertodrawoneseyeinwards,butdespite
thesomewhatisolatednatureofthelandscapethereisstillatranquilnature
toitperhapssummarizingIkesretirementbeingisolatinginsomeway
(SupportingGoldwater)whilebeingtranquilinothers(spendingtimewith
grandchildrenandMamieonFarm){StoryabouttheEisenhowersslipping
awayquietlyafterelectionwasovertoFarm}

Transition:EventhoughIkeproducednumerouspaintingssuchastheoneIvespokenabout
throughoutthelastdecadesofhislife,hewashisownworstcritic

4. IkesSelfEvaluation
a. Ikesdaubs(smearindeliberate,roughway)2/3destroybyburning
i. GalleryofModernArtinNewYork
ii. Myhandsarebettersuitedforanaxthanapaintbrush.
Conclusion:Ikemightnothaveenjoyed/likedmanyofhispaintings,buttheyhaveofferedusa
windowintothelifeofamanwhohadseentheendofthenineteenthcenturyandnearlytheendofthe
twentieth.Perhaps,laterinlifepaintingaidedEisenhowerinhisdecisionmakingasIkeoncesaid
Youputthesurfaceofyourmindonthecanvas,whiletherestofyourmindismakingdecisions.If
artreallycanreflecttheartistinanyway,Ikesartmanagedtoactasalookingglasstooneofthe
greatestGeneralinAmericanHistoryaswellasthePresidentwhokeptAmericaatpeace.