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Published on Jul 16, 2012
Warren Perry, writer at the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, discusses Mexican artist Miguel Covarrubias and his works in the NPG collection, particularly a circa 1925 portrait of President Calvin Coolidge.
Miguel Covarrubias appeared on the New York art scene in the 1920s, and his skill as a portrait artist and celebrity caricaturist quickly made him a favorite of magazines.
Covarrubias transitioned from caricaturist to curator over the next many years of his life, and while his caricatures will always be treasures, his work as an anthropologist laid the foundation for modern studies of the Balinese—his work on Bali is still considered one of the primary texts of the island's culture—and for studies of the ancient Olmec and Mexican world.