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Artist, Indiana Governors' Portrait Collection
James Putnam Goodrich (1864-1940)
Governor of Indiana
January 8, 1917-January 10, 1921
Artist: Wayman Adams, American, 1883-1959
oil on canvas, 43 x 35 7/8 (109.0 x 91.2)
Signed u.l.: Wayman Adams
THE PORTRAIT of James P. Goodrich was painted while he was in office, but it did not enter the collection until more than twenty years later. Goodrich decided to have Wayman Adams paint it and forestalled an appropriation by the legislature by offering to present the portrait to the state himself.
Sittings were held in Indianapolis in December, 1920, but when the work was completed, the governor did not feel that the likeness was entirely satisfactory. After a lapse of time Adams made certain alterations according to Goodrich's suggestions, but still the portrait was not accepted. When other changes failed to satisfy Goodrich, the portrait was set aside with the thought that another might be painted.
No satisfactory portrait was made, however, during James Goodrich's life, and after his death in 1940, steps were taken to have the one by Adams hung in the State House. Pierre Goodrich, the governor's son, Colonel Richard Lieber, and other intimate friends of the late governor suggested certain modifications which the artist carried out to their satisfaction and the painting was accepted. Pierre Goodrich supplemented the legislature's appropriation to meet the artist's fee, and the portrait was placed in the State House in 1943.
The portrait's arrangement is striking in its effect of dark and light. Strong illumination on the face and collar is picked up again at the bottom of the picture by the rolled newspaper which the model is tightly gripping. The pose creates a strong vertical and horizontal pull, a forceful composition made severe by an unadorned background and a scarcity of accessories. The likeness is good, but, probably due to the several later changes, the portrait falls short of Adams's best work. The expression is set, and the deliberate pose and expression of strength and conviction appear rigid.
Source: Peat, Wilbur D. Portraits and Painters of the Governors of Indiana 1800-1978. Revised, edited and with new entries by Diane Gail Lazarus, Indianapolis Museum of Art. Biographies of the governors by Lana Ruegamer, Indiana Historical Society. Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society and Indianapolis Museum of Art, 1978.