The Nation: By George, a Stuart!

Or not a George by Stuart?

Hardly anybody wanted the grimy, torn portrait of an aged, slightly paunchy George Washington that for years had been hanging around New Bedford, Mass. The local Boys Club, which owned it, lent it in the 1950s to the town's First National Bank, which put it in storage. That deeply upset Jacob Rubin, 82, a Russian-born furniture maker, who was worried that the painting was "going to wrack and ruin." On behalf of the Boys Club—of which he is a director and benefactor—Rubin tried to sell the portrait. He got no takers—even after he lowered his...

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