A Letter from Jamie WyethArtist

As a painter, I have undertaken a few portrait commissions. The following describes one of the more hilarious of what I call "portrait commission moments." A moment that I shared with Eunice.

In 1995 I was asked to create a likeness of Eunice Shriver to be used as "the face" of a U.S. silver dollar commemorating the Special Olympics World Games. After several posing sessions in the Washington DC Special Olympic offices, I completed what we thought was a reasonable likeness. I delivered the drawing to the U.S. mint for their sculptors to render it onto the coin. A week later, I was summoned to the mint to approve the "sculpt." To my horror, they had turned my rendering of Eunice into a pre-pubescent Shirley Temple. Gone was Eunice's age acquired character; lines and wrinkles were miraculously erased. Distressed, I called Eunice. Her response, after gales of laughter, "put those lines and wrinkles back in - they were hard won!" Although the image on the coin still looks a bit like Betty Crocker, I will forever be indebted to Eunice and her reality check.

About Jamie Wyeth

Jamie Wyeth is an American artist whose works are included in many public collections, including those of the Terra Museum of American Art, National Gallery of Art, National Portrait Gallery, John F. Kennedy Library, Museum of Modern Art, Joslyn Art Museum, Farnsworth Art Museum, Delaware Art Museum, and Brandywine River Museum. His portrait of Eunice Kennedy Shriver is featured on the 1995 Special Olympics World Summer Games Commemorative Silver Dollar. Learn more about Jamie Wyeth