Jerelle Kraus in Richard Nixon's Office

Jerelle Kraus is the former art director at the New York Times and her new book reveals the inner workings of the Times from the creation of the art for the Op-ed section to the decisions by Howell Raines and other editors to quash certain drawings that were deemed too controversial. All the Art That’s Fit to Print includes many never-before-seen drawings, removed right before press time, as well as published images from the last four decades by artists such as Andy Warhol, David Levine, Jules Pfeiffer, Barbara Kruger, Art Spiegelman, Larry Rivers, and others. You can view images from the book here and here.

One fan of the art from the Op-Ed page was also a frequent target: Richard Nixon. In the book Kraus describes a revealing and somewhat odd 1983 meeting with Richard Nixon at his New York City office. Nixon was a fan of Kraus’s drawing of him and Brezhnev and requested a copy in exchange for a signed copy of his memoir. In describing the meeting, Kraus writes:

Experiencing Nixon behind his unmarked door showed me there was a human creature beneath the ogre for whom I’d felt nothing but disgust, someone profoundly ill at ease with himself and others, a man who wore a suit 24/7 and couldn’t surrender the role of dignitary. I saw his awkwardness as well as his pain, pride, and prickliness.

Here is a picture of their meeting:

Jerelle Kraus meets Richard Nixon

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