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FDR's Unfinished Portrait: A Memoir Hardcover – May, 1991

5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Self-taught portrait painter Shoumatoff (1888-1980) captured more than 2000 sitters, including FDR, LBJ, Lady Bird Johnson, Rabindranath Tagore, Liberian president William Tubman and generations of Fricks, Mellons and DuPonts. Born in Russia, she moved to New York in 1917 with her husband Leo, then a representative of Alexander Kerensky's provisional government. The prosaic memoir, consisting mostly of Shoumatoff's informal, chatty impressions of the subjects she painted, intersperses reproductions of her art. The focus is on FDR;his second sitting for her, on April 12, 1945, was cut short by a seizure, and he died later that day of a cerebral hemorrhage. Her Unfinished Portrait hangs in the "Little White House" museum in Warm Springs, Ga. Shoumatoff's recollections of FDR's last hours will interest history buffs.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

This slim memoir was written by a portrait painter who witnessed the death of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Shoumatoff was a Russian emigre who established herself as a portraitist to America's aristocracy. She compiled these reminiscences before her death in 1980. Her first 29 years in Tsarist Russia are dealt with too brusquely, and her observations concerning most of her distinguished subjects are not illuminating. It is the second half of the book, dealing with FDR, that is most interesting. Shoumatoff met Roosevelt through Lucy Mercer Rutherford, the President's alleged mistress, and apparently got to know him fairly well, visiting him at the White House, Hyde Park, and Warm Springs, where she witnessed his final moments. Noteworthy as a character sketch of FDR and a depiction of his last days, but an overall marginal purchase.
-Gary Williams, Southeastern Ohio Regional Lib., Caldwell
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 158 pages
  • Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press; First Edition edition (May 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0822936593
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822936596
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,040,042 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Well done, very informative. A transported to the places, facts, and
things that happens through the time... a jewel for the history.
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