National Portrait Gallery Unveils Salinger Painting

There is nothing phony about the legacy of J.D. Salinger, who was immortalized in a portrait hanging at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery on February 1. The beloved author, who passed away on January 27, is depicted in Robert Vickery’s 1961 Time cover, looking somber in the foreground against a metaphorical backdrop of amber waves of grain. Salinger was notoriously wary of the spotlight, maintaining a low profile and only allowing his loyal readers to see him in the two black-and-white photos on the jacket sleeves of his books that were taken in his younger days. Vickery’s far grayer Salinger now hangs on the museum’s first floor, which is reserved to honor those who died recently.