Nation: The Critic's Choice

From the first, the President and the portraitist hit it off together like a pair of cowpokes. Both, after all, were men of the Southwest, both ranchers, both devoted to the austere horizons of the high desert.

They had met before, but first got to know each other at close range in late 1964, when Peter Hurd and his wife Henriette, sister of Artist Andrew Wyeth, were jointly commissioned to execute Lyndon Johnson's portrait as the Man of the Year for TIME'S Jan. 1, 1965 cover. During a two-hour session, the President talked brilliantly, flitting...

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