Monday, March 23, 2009

Presidents in Waiting

At the National Portrait Gallery this weekend, after John Waters' absurd reading of Cy Twombly's Letter of Resignation, I went to see Presidents in Waiting, an exhibit on those vice-presidents who went on to become president.

From John Adams to George H.W. Bush, the 14 vice-presidents were all charged with making what they could of an office that comes with few official responsibilities. There are video interviews with living VPs, and photographs, paintings and drawings that depict the vice presidents' relationships with their president.

It's not the most interesting show at the Portrait Gallery right now (that totally belongs to the Lincoln show or Feature Photography), but Presidents in Waiting is worth a visit. And it inspired me to come home and finally tackle the rest of the John Adams mini-series.

Harry S. Truman with Franklin D. Roosevelt / George Tames, 1944 / Gelatin silver print / National Portrait gallery, Smithsonian Institution, gift of Frances o. Tames, © The New York Times/George Tames

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