Portrait of Ronald Reagan painted by Peter Driben in the 1940s.
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In 1973 when I lived in Miami, I purchased an original portrait of Ronald Reagan from an estate sale through a Coconut Grove-based art dealer. I now live in Charlotte, North Carolina.
There were a number of other works for sale that day: many movie stars and starlets from the 1940ís era., a series of prominent U.S. mayors, lastly, the most wonderful collection of pinup art you have ever seen. Mr. Driben was best known for his drawings of beautiful women which graced the covers of girlie magazines in the 1930ís and 1940ís. Mr. Driben died in the 1960ís after a colorful life; he was well-known in Miami art circles and in Hollywood. His widow was selling the collection through the Coconut Grove dealer.
I purchased my work on a hunch that Mr. Reagan might run for President some day. In fact, during the 1976 presidential primaries when he was campaigning in Florida, he autographed it for me, thanks to the assistance of the Miami Herald and the local GOP.
The work is 19" X 15" framed with a 2" mat (removable). It is in very good condition.
Many people have walked into my house and exclaimed: " Thatís Ronald Reagan!" on first sighting. I think it easier to tell it is Reagan from a ten foot distance than closer up. I have compared it to photographs taken at the time, and in many ways, it is a better likeness as we now know him now than the 1940ís photographs.It is now posted on the Internet for all to see. In the long run, I donít really know what to do with the work.
I think I should sell it to the party to whomever will get the most enjoyment out of it. Please let me know if you have any suggestions.
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