American artist Aaron Shikler painted the official posthumous portrait of John F. Kennedy, which shows the former president standing with his arms crossed and eyes downcast, his face obscured. Shikler felt that Kennedy should be remembered in that pose due to the turbulent time in American history during his presidency.
Jackie Kennedy gave Shikler specific instructions on how she wanted her husband’s image to be painted. Shikler was an esteemed artist noted for portraits of American statesmen and celebrities, having also painted a portrait of Jackie Kennedy.
The JFK portrait is considered one of his most famous works and was commissioned by the White House Historical Association. It is now part of the permanent collection at the White House. The portrait serves as a testament to JFK’s legacy and impact on American history, both positive and negative.
Its understated style captures a sense of strength and contemplation during a difficult era in our nation’s history. Overall, Aaron Shikler’s painting remains an important symbol of America’s past and continues to inspire political leaders today.