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 Aaron Shikler  (1922 - )

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Lived/Active: New York      Known for: photo real portrait, interior and townscape painting

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Ad Code: 2
Aaron Shikler
from Auction House Records.
Portrait of Jacqueline Kennedy with Caroline and John Jr.
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Portrait painter Aaron Shikler was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1922.  He studied at the Barnes Foundation, Merion, Pennsylvania, and received B.A. and M.A. degrees from the Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia.  He also studied at the American University, Shrivenham, England, and the Hans Hoffman School, New York City. Shikler became an Associate of the National Academy of Design, New York City, in 1962, an Academician in 1965.

His portraits of Presidents John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan, and their wives are in the White House Collection.  Shikler's portrait of the soon-to-be-President Reagan, in an open-collared denim shirt, appeared on the 1980 cover of Time magazine.  His portrait of American-born Queen Noor of Jordan may be found in that country's Royal Palace.  He has also painted portraits of Diana Ross and her daughters, the Edgar Bronfman family, Mrs. Vincent Astor, Barbara Walters and Giorgio Armani. He painted a photographic portrait of former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin in 1999.

His paintings may be seen in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and National Academy of Design, in New York City; the Brooklyn Museum, New York; Mint Museum, Charlotte, North Carolina; and National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.

When the estate of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was auctioned in 1996, drawings that he had given the ex-first lady were included, to Shikler's chagrin.  He commented that he was "kind of shocked. People don't realize that those studies I gave Jackie -- they were gifts to her.  Nothing was bought." He continued, saying the portrait studies "were such a personal thing.  They could have wrapped it up, put it away to give to the children and grandchildren.  It's bizarre."

Aaron Shikler's Posthumous Portrait Study of President John F. Kennedy, 1969, was included in the exhibition of Presidential portraits, "Power, Politics & Style: Art for the Presidents", September 24, 2000 - January 7, 2001, at the Baltimore Museum of Art, Maryland.  Shikler's charcoal study for his portrait of Kennedy was exhibited at The Bruce Museum of Arts and Science, Greenwich, Connecticut, in their show, JFK and Art, September 20, 2003 - January 11, 2004.


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