Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Aaron Shikler, Painted Portraits of Presidents

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Aaron Shikler, Painted Portraits of Presidents

Article excerpt

Aaron Shikler, an artist whose portraits of America's economic, political and social elite included a brooding John F. Kennedy, a sorrowful Jacqueline Kennedy and a buoyant Ronald Reagan in jeans and work shirt, died on Thursday in New York City. He was 93.

Mrs. Kennedy became an admirer of Mr. Shikler after seeing the paintings he had done of the children of the actor Peter Lawford and Patricia Kennedy Lawford, one of the president's sisters. A commission to do official White House portraits of her and (a posthumous one) of her husband followed.

Except for one passing glimpse from afar, Mr. Shikler had never seen Mr. Kennedy in person. He studied dozens of photographs and eventually settled on a somber, reflective pose. In the portrait, Mr. Kennedy, dressed in a gray suit and blue tie, stands with his arms folded across his chest, his head tilted down. …

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