While in Dallas a couple of weeks ago, I was lucky enough to get a tour of the Harlan Crow Library, which is in Mr. Crow’s home. It was an amazing treat. After making our way past a couple of Charles Willson Peale portraits, we proceeded into his World War II room (or so I call it).
On one wall, two rather pedestrian landscapes by Dwight Eisenhower, from the honorable paint-by-numbers school.
On a two facing walls were paintings by Winston Churchill, one of which was really quite good (a Mediterranean hill town, somewhat impressionistic).
In a corner, two paintings by . . . well . . . Adolph Hitler. They were small, and showed technical skill. As Mr. Crow suggested, they are more architectural studies than paintings — they are of buildings, perhaps like the following (also a Hitler):
Was it creepy, you ask? Absolutely. I wondered, but did not ask, what the market for original Hitlers is like? I don’t feel any moral outrage over the paintings. Mr. Crow is a collector, and Hitler is an historical figure of undoubted significance. And his display makes a statement of sorts: three leading figures of World War II, and all tried painting.
Still, of course, creepy.
Oh, also, Mr. Crow had a seventh painting in the room, on an easel. George W. Bush had dropped by the day before and left a painting he had recently completed of a Texas canyon. Surprised the hell out of me, as Bush never seemed the artistic type to me. He has room for improvement, but he’s way better than I would be.