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Artist Biography: Aaron Shikler

Aaron Shikler was a leading American contemporary artist noted for his portraits of prominent American statesmen. He painted the posthumous White House portrait of President John F. Kennedy, as well as the official White House portraits of first ladies Jacqueline Kennedy and Nancy Reagan. Mr. Shikler’s portrait of Senator Mike Mansfield is one of the Senate collection’s legendary works, and his informal portrait of Ronald Reagan became a national icon when it graced the cover of Time magazine’s “Man of the Year” issue in 1981. In addition to his prolific portraiture of American and international luminaries, Aaron Shikler’s oeuvre includes figurative, still life, and landscape painting in pastel and oil.

Born in Brooklyn in 1922, Aaron Shikler studied at the Barnes Foundation in Pennsylvania and earned his Bachelors and Masters of Fine Art from the Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Pennsylvania. He also studied at American University in England and at the esteemed Hans Hoffman School in New York. In 1965 the National Academy of Design elected him a National Academician. He died at his home in Manhattan on November 12, 2015.

Mr. Shikler is represented in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery and Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Brooklyn Museum, the National Academy of Design, the New Britain Museum of American Art, Jordan's Royal Palace, and numerous other American museums, public buildings, and private collections.