Golda Painting at National Gallery
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Golda Painting at National Gallery

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A painting of former Israeli Premier Golda Meir, the only American woman ever to become head of a foreign government, has been accepted by the National Portrait Gallery, the Smithsonian Institution announced today. Formal presentation will take place tomorrow at the gallery with Mrs. Meir attending a luncheon there in her honor. Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger is to be among the speakers.

The 32×26-inch portrait by Raphael Soyer is a gift to the gallery, a part of the Smithsonian, by Mr. and Mrs. Cummings of New York and Mr. and Mrs. Meyer P. Potamkin of Philadelphia. It will remain on view on the gallery’s second floor through Jan. 4.

Russian-born, like Mrs. Meir, Soyer painted this portrait last year. The sitting, which took place in Connecticut, was arranged by Martin Peretz, chairman of the New Republic magazine and a longtime friend of Mrs. Meir.

“I was impressed by the absence of pomp and pretense in Mrs. Meir’s appearance and behavior,” Soyer said in discussing the impact she made upon him. “She was warm and cooperative. She posed extremely well, with great patience. Once in a while she asked for a break to smoke a cigarette or take a sip of water,” Soyer recalled, Mrs. Meir is currently in the U.S. on speaking tours for Israel Bonds and the United Jewish Appeal.

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