Dewey Short’s Armed Services Committee portrait contains an early use of a gavel as signifier of a committee Chairman’s status in the House Collection. This followed a century of its appearance alongside Speakers of the House in popular prints. Only with the advent of television broadcast of committee hearings did the gavel announce a Chairman’s authority. In this portrait, artist Percy Leason has layered symbols of Short’s position—dais, nameplate, and flags—with strong color blocks of red and blue, reflecting the artist’s background in illustration.
History, Art & Archives, U.S. House of Representatives, “Dewey Jackson Short,” https://history.house.gov/Collection/Listing/2002/2002-007-002/ (January 21, 2021)
Office of the Historian
Office of Art and Archives
Attic, Thomas Jefferson Building
Washington, D.C. 20515