Churchill versus his legend


Cartoon on unveiling of Churchill's statute, Michael Cummings - Who is that chubby little man?

Who is that kindly, chubby little man meant to represent? – 1954 cartoon by Michael Cummings, on the unveiling of a monumental portrait, a tribute to Winston Churchill. Churchill, the “roar to the lion” of the British people during World War II, was turned out of office after the war. Churchill’s personage seems dwarfed by his reputation, in the painting.  Cartoon from the collection of Churchill’s granddaughter, Edwina Standys.

Sometimes life doesn’t seem to measure up to its reputation.

At the Trout Museum of Art in Appleton, Wisconsin, we caught the Winston Churchill exhibits, including this 1954 cartoon by Michael Cummings.

Churchill, the hero of Britain in World War II, lost his post as Prime Minister to his former aide, Clement Attlee, after the war.  Britons appeared to think Attlee better suited to lead the peace.  Tributes continued to pour in for Churchill, however.

Poking fun at the situation, to the amusement of Churchill himself, Cummings inked this cartoon on the unveiling of a great portrait to Churchill.  The larger-than-life painting dwarfed the real-life Churchill.

History does that sometimes.  The people who turn out as heroes, later on, seem so real, so non-heroic, and even small, in person.

One trick of living is to see the heroes under the small exteriors.

The Trout continues the exhibit through July 29, 2012.

P.S.:  The portrait by Graham Sutherland did not please Mr. Churchill a lot; so far as is known, it was destroyed on orders from Lady Churchill.

P.P.S.: In the first version of this post, for some unexplainable reason, I called the portrait “a statue.”  Fixed now.

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2 Responses to Churchill versus his legend

  1. […] Churchill vs. his legend, at Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub; also, Non-virtual world interference in the Summer of 2012; November 30, Whiskey and Cigar Day: How will you celebrate Twain and Churchill (one of Churchill’s cigars); Quote of the moment:  Churchill’s ‘Iron Curtain Speech’ […]

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  2. […] Churchill versus his legend (timpanogos.wordpress.com) […]

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