Along With a Cigarette Case Given to Murphy For His Role in the 1953 Inauguration.
George Murphy made 55 films with such stars as Shirley Temple, Judy Garland and Ronald Reagan (whom he mentored when he arrived in Hollywood). In the 1940’s, political interests shared attention with his ongoing movie career. Twice he was elected president of the Screen Actors’ Guild, and in 1950 he received a...
George Murphy made 55 films with such stars as Shirley Temple, Judy Garland and Ronald Reagan (whom he mentored when he arrived in Hollywood). In the 1940’s, political interests shared attention with his ongoing movie career. Twice he was elected president of the Screen Actors’ Guild, and in 1950 he received a special Oscar “for interpreting the motion-picture industry correctly to the country at large.” He served as chairman of California’s Republican state committee, and as chairman of the program committee at the Republican national conventions of both 1956 and 1960. This meant that he produced and supervised the conventions, which were the first ones to be treated as an entertainment and managed like a film or television show.
He also directed entertainment for the 1953 inauguration. Murphy became a U.S. Senator from California in 1965. As president, Eisenhower recruited him to assist him in “image management.”
Jes Schlaikjer was an illustrator and portrait artist for national magazines, including Collier’s, Red Book Magazine, Woman’s Home Companion, American Magazine and American Legion Monthly. In 1942 he became official artist of the U.S. War Department, with a studio in the Pentagon from which he issued a long series of wartime inspirational posters for morale and recruitment. He prepared portraits of military leaders of the nation, including such luminaries as Eisenhower and Patton. These works hang today in the War College in Washington. After his wartime contributions, he maintained a portrait studio in Washington, drawing the likenesses of many social, political and business men and women.
An 11 by 14 inch reproduction of a post-war drawing of Ike by Schlaikjer, inscribed and signed “To George Murphy, with best wishes and warm personal regards to a distinguished American – from his friend Dwight D. Eisenhower.” Included is a silver cigarette case engraved with the signatures of Eisenhower and Nixon plus two others, with the inscription “George Murphy, Director of Entertainment, with appreciation, Inaugural Festival 1953.” Provenance: the Murphy family.
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