“The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, . . . who knows great enthusiasm, great devotion, and the triumph of achievement.” The words are those of Theodore Roosevelt—who, of course, was such a man. Our article by Edmund Morris in this issue speaks of one of his triumphs—the upholding of the Monroe Doctrine in 1903 by a finely calculated display of naval force and personal resolution. The cover painting, Portrait of President Theodore Roosevelt, by Gary Melchers (1860–1932), by portraying TR in riding costume fittingly presents him as a “doer of deeds.”
The painting itself (done in 1908) commemorates a second Roosevelt achievement. It was commissioned by the industrialist and art collector Charles Lang Freer in gratitude for TR’s assistance in securing the acceptance by the regents of the Smithsonian Institution of Freer’s Asian art collection under the unusual terms upon which Freer had insisted. One of the restrictions of the deed of gift was that the original art (including our cover painting) was never to be sent for exhibition outside the building that was to be constructed—today the Freer Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.: Gift of Charles Lang Freer, F1908.17.
Volume 55, Number 2