Untitled (President Johnson)

Untitled (President Johnson)
Donald Blumberg (American, 1935-)
Gelatin silver print 
Image: 19-7/8 x 23-7/8 in. (50.5 x 60.6 cm) 
Credit Line:
Norton Simon Museum, Gift of the Artist 
Accession Number:
Not on View

Donald Blumberg’s interest in photography was so great that it eclipsed a promising career in science. After completing his master’s degree in biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, Blumberg moved to New York and honed his technical skills working as an instructor. Blumberg often references his concerns with technique through the very compositions of his photographs. Here, for example, the artist is interested in the power of everyday images and their ability to influence public debate. The accumulation of images of President Lyndon Baines Johnson (1908–1973), taken directly from a television screen, reinforces a replication that is twice removed from its original source—through the television and through a camera lens—and thus undermines the authenticity of the subject. In this photograph Johnson looks concerned, angry, confounded and tired—a reflection, perhaps, of the true state of the Union. Blumberg created this work as part of a series that expressed his anti-war convictions.

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