Face-to-Face: Lady Bird Johnson portrait

About the Project

As part of the National Portrait Gallery's education program "Face-to-Face," the NPG's Amy Baskette discusses a portrait of Lady Bird Johnson by Boris Artzybasheff. Claudia Taylor's nursemaid declared that she was as pretty as a "ladybird," a nickname that stuck with her through her entire life. Lady Bird Johnson graduated from high school at age fifteen and earned two degrees at the University of Texas: a B.A. in 1933 and a degree in journalism in 1934. That same year, she met Lyndon Johnson, a young legislative secretary. After a brief courtship--best characterized by her statement that "sometimes Lyndon simply takes your breath away"--they were married. Devoted to her husband's political career, Lady Bird Johnson ran his office during World War II and in 1955, after he suffered a heart attack. The couple had two daughters. As first lady, Lady Bird was active in Head Start and her promotion of the Highway Beautification Act. The National Portrait Gallery's Amy Baskette discussed this portrait of Lady Bird Johnson by Boris Artzybasheff at a Face-to-Face portrait talk. The portrait was originally created for Time magazine's August 28, 1964, edition. Recorded at NPG, March 12, 2009. Image info: Lady Bird Johnson / Boris Artzybasheff, 1964 / Crayon, watercolor, ink and polymer on board / National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Time magazine / Copyright Brois Artzybasheff. Face-to-Face talk currently located on the National Portrait Gallery's iTunesU page. ["Lady Bird Johnson" by Boris Artzybasheff. NPG.78.TC472]

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