Aaron Shikler at The Art of the Portrait Conference, 10th Anniversary Celebration
March 18, 1922|
Brooklyn, New York City
November 12, 2015 (aged 93)|
Manhattan, New York City
The High School of Music & Art|
Temple University's Tyler School of Art
|Known for||Portrait Painting|
|Notable work||The John F. Kennedy Official Portrait|
Shikler was born in Brooklyn, New York on March 18, 1922. His parents were Eastern European immigrants who came to the United States before World War I. After graduating from The High School of Music & Art in 1940, Shikler studied at the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, and at the Hans Hofmann School in New York. He married Barbara Lurie who he met at Tyler, and had two children, Cathy and Clifford, with her. Barbara was diagnosed with lung cancer and died in 1998.
Jacqueline Kennedy personally selected Shikler in 1970 to provide the posthumous character study of John F. Kennedy, Oil Portrait of John F. Kennedy, which serves as Kennedy's official White House portrait. He also painted the official White House portraits of First Ladies Jacqueline Kennedy and Nancy Reagan, as well as portraits of the Kennedy children. and is represented in numerous public collections such as The Brooklyn Museum of Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the New Britain Museum of American Art, and the National Academy of Design.
Awards and honors
Shikler was elected a centennial fellow of Temple University in 1985, an academician of the National Academy of Design in 1965 and an associate of the National Academy of Design in 1962. Shikler received the Louis Comfort Tiffany Award in 1957 and the Thomas B. Clarke Prize in 1958, 1960, and 1961. In 1976, he received the State Department Traveling Grant, a Certificate of Honor at the Tyler School of Art and the Benjamin Altman Prize from the National Academy of Design.
Shikler continued to paint in his studio at home until he died of kidney failure on November 12, 2015, surrounded by his friends and family. He was survived by his two children.
Jackie Kennedy's official White House portrait by Shikler hangs in the Vermeil Room.
Nancy Reagan's official White House portrait by Shikler hangs in the Vermeil Room.
Official Senate portrait of Tom Daschle
- Langer, Emily (2015-11-16). "Aaron Shikler, court painter of American nobility, dies at 93". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2016-01-05.
- Grimes, William. "Aaron Shikler, Portrait Artist Known for Images of America’s Elite, Dies at 93," New York Times (NOV. 16, 2015).
- Andersen, Christopher (2001). The Day John Died. HarperCollins. p. 176. ISBN 978-0-380-81958-4. Retrieved 2 March 2012.
- "Davis and Langdale - Aaron Shikler". Retrieved 2008-08-04.