David M. Kennedy (1905 - 1996) was appointed Secretary of the Treasury by President Richard M. Nixon, who praised his "good streak of native midwestern conservatism" at a time of high taxes, a rising cost of living, and large military expenditures for the war in Vietnam. Kennedy deplored the U.S. trade deficit and envisioned an international trade system designed to prevent countries from erecting trade barriers to deal with payment problems.
Sec. David M. Kennedy
Everett Raymond Kinstler
Oil on canvas
52 1/2 x 44 5/8 x 2 1/2"
Domestically Kennedy gave top priority to inflation, advocating a deflationary policy of high interest rates, a slowing of monetary growth, and a balanced budget. In late 1969 and early 1970, as the economy began to slow down in response to the Administration's measures, Kennedy continued to be a spokesman for these policies. However, when the Democrats realized great gains in the 1970 Congressional elections, Nixon brought in a new Secretary of the Treasury, John Connally, to give his Cabinet a more bipartisan character. Kennedy was appointed Ambassador-at-Large with Cabinet status and left Treasury early in 1971.
About the Artist
Everett Raymond Kinstler was born in New York City in 1926 and attended the prestigious High School of Music and Art before dropping out at age sixteen. A protege of James Montgomery Flagg, who created the Uncle Sam "I Want You" recruiting posters during World War I, Kinstler began his professional career as an illustrator and cartoonist. He turned increasingly to portrait painting in the late 1950s and has since established himself as a painter of eminent figures from society, business, and government. Kinstler visited David M. Kennedy at the Treasury Department while he was Secretary, but this portrait was painted at the artist's New York studio in 1971.