Art: An Original Ike

For the size of the crowds, the public library in Hutchinson, Kans. might have had the Mona Lisa on exhibit last week. "They want to keep looking," said the librarian happily. "We have to shoo them out." The big attraction at the library's annual all-Kansas art show: one of the first U.S. exhibits of an avid Sunday painter and onetime Kansas boy. His name: Dwight D. Eisenhower. On opening day, 1,500 people flooded the library's tiny gallery; by week's end, 3,500 more had come to see how Ike paints.

Ike sent only a single picture. When Kansas Republicans asked for a sample,...

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