Supreme Court Justices: five original group portraits

SUPREME COURT   |   Freda REITER

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“SHE WAS ABLE TO GET THE GESTURES AND EXPRESSIONS DOWN IN A REALLY CONVINCING WAY”: FIVE WONDERFUL GROUP PASTEL PORTRAITS OF SUPREME COURT JUSTICES BY DISTINGUISHED COURTROOM SKETCH ARTIST FREDA REITER

(SUPREME COURT) REITER, Freda. Group portraits of the Burger Supreme Court. [New York: American Broadcasting Company, 1981-85]. Five original large full-color pastel drawings, measuring 16-1/2 by 13-1/2 inches, on studio mounts measuring 20 by 16 inches.

Five large, original pastel drawings of members of the Warren Burger Supreme Court by one of the premier sketch artists and political portraitists of modern times, Freda Reiter.

Whenever judges prohibit cameras in their coutrooms—whether at local courtrhouses as juries deliberate high-profile cases or the venerable halls of the nation’s highest court, as justices weigh Constitutional interpretation—capable and accurate sketch artists create what may well stand as the sole visual record of momentous proceedings. In her two decades (1966-86) as a premier legal and political artist for the American Brodcasting Company, “Freda Reiter… gave American audiences a glimpse into the courtrooms where some of the nation’s most sensational cases were decided” (Annenberg School for Communication). “She was able to get the gestures and expressions down in a really convincing way, without exaggerating anything. I think the problem today is that most courtroom artists have trouble getting a likeness at all” (Neil Wedman). Formally trained in Philadelphia, Reiter studied with Diego Rivera in the early 1940s and went on to document some of the most famous—and infamous—trials of the latter 20th century, including Watergate proceedings, the Muhammad Ali draft evasion trial, and the trials of the “Son of Sam,” John Hinckley and Patty Hearst. Reiter “received a Television News Emmy for her work on the Iran Hostage Crisis. Her art is on permanent display at the National Portrait Gallery, and in private collections, including those of former and current members of Congress, lawyers of individuals whose trials she covered and many of her former colleagues at ABC” (Annenberg School). These five superb original group portraits by Reiter depict for television audiences the justices who sat on the 1981-85 Supreme Court: Burger, Blackmun, Brennan, Marshall, O’Connor, Powell, Rehnquist, Stevens and White.

All pastel colors very vivid. Fine condition.

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