Master Portraitist, Greta Kempton, is best known for painting the official White House portrait of President Harry S. Truman, the Truman family, and the entire Truman cabinet earning her the title of “America’s Court Painter.” She also painted many other political leaders, corporate moguls, celebrities, and everyday people in a range of styles for which she has been compared to the great masters: Rembrandt, Cezanne, Renoir and Degas.
“Greta Kempton paints people, great and small, with a deep conviction that there is as much art in a portrait as in any other picture. Striving for perfect likeness with a blithe disregard for modernistic effects, she works also to portray character and personality without neglecting the balance, composition and effective use of material which distinguish any other fine painting. Her portraits are strong and positive, never vague. She uses choice of pose as well as brush to reveal her study of a subject’s entire being, but with frank emphasis on the best she finds in personality as well as in facial contours. She believes that a relative should recognize a portrait; that a stranger should be able to read a subject’s character almost as well in a painting as by looking at the person. Her many successes bolster her theories.”
— Corcoran Gallery of Art exhibition catalog, 1949
Come, celebrate the life and artistry of Ms. Greta Kempton, one of the greatest unheralded American artists of the 20th century and…enjoy!