DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER ORIGINAL OIL PAINTING
A rarely seen military-themed oil painting gifted by President Dwight D. Eisenhower while president to hi close friends and neighbors of in Gettysburg in 1959, during his term as president. The 16 x 10 in. oil on canvas depicts what is believed to be Fort Mohave, Arizona. It shows scattered buildings with tile roofs, a flagpole with American flag waving at the top, parade grounds in the foreground, and a range of mountains in the background. The always modest Eisenhower, who never fancied himself a great artist, applied a bit of additional paint at lower-right and added his initials 'D E', matching in every way signatures he applied to many of his other works. Eisenhower painted for relaxation, often not signing his works until he decided to present them as gifts, hence the later addition of his initials here. On the reverse, the original wood frame holding the canvas was inscribed by Ike in the same color paint as the signature: 'For Mary and George 1959', and undoubtedly at the same time he signed his work. This paint is absolutely aged and period, set into a period frame. This painting was purchased by our consignor, a retired Washington, D.C. attorney, at auction from the Milton J. Dance Co., Inc./Steve Dance Auction in Towson, Md. on Oct. 14, 2015. A two-page notice for the sale (included) offers the sale of seven Eisenhower paintings, including three portraits of his close friend and Gettysburg neighbor, George Allen. Allen, a prominent attorney and businessman, first met Eisenhower in England in the Forties, and was later instrumental in convincing Ike to move to a farm in Gettysburg. Over the following years, Eisenhower gifted Allen and his wife, Mary Keane Allen, with portraits of Allen and various landscapes. Upon George's death, his Eisenhower paintings passed to his sister-in-law, Helen Keane Brewer in Baltimore, and when she passed at 103, her only child Michael Brewer inherited the artworks. Michael passed in 2015 and all of the paintings and other Eisenhower mementos were sold by the Dance auctions. The sale of the paintings was covered in the 'Baltimore Sun' on Oct. 12, 2015, and a copy of that article is included. In the 1930s, Eisenhower was tasked with the overall coordination of the transport of a large body of troops from the East Coast to the West Coast in order to test Army preparedness for rapid, long-range deployment. He stopped at Fort Mohave while en route. Incidentally, he found the road systems deficient - his incentive to construct the interstate highway system thirty years later!