[N.p.; photographer unidentified; 1965]. Exceptional inscribed portrait of Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson as President and First Lady; almost certainly taken on the occasion of LBJ's signing of the landmark Immigration Act in October of 1965 – other depictions of the event, which took place on Liberty Island, show him in the same dark jacket with an apparently identical pocket square. The current image apparently uncommon; we can find no direct analogue in the rich visual archive of LBJ portraiture available on the on-line portal of the LBJ Library or elsewhere. The photographer is uncredited (at least as far as we can tell from examination outside the frame).
The inscription is to Deputy Associate Director of the FBI Cartha "Deke" De Loach, a close confidant of both LBJ and J. Edgar Hoover. De Loach was a powerful figure in the national law enforcement community and reputedly had a very close working relationship with Johnson; New York Times reporter Timothy Weiner once described him as "...always at LBJ's beck and call, night and day...he was a talented political hatchet man, a trusted deputy to Hoover...[and] crucial to intelligence investigations conducted during the Johnson presidency." An exceptional association and one of the most attractive LBJ portraits we have encountered.
PROVENANCE: From the estate of Cartha De Loach, through the trade. Original silver-gelatin photograph, 13-1/4" x 7-1/4" on larger card mount, in gilt-edged glazed frame ca 19" x 12" overall. Inscribed on mount, below image, in the First Lady's hand: "To Deke De Loach on a Memorable Day - with our affection and appreciation," signed by both and dated Christmas, 1965. Not examined out of frame, but sight condition is excellent, with no fading or soil; frame is apparently original, though backing appears to have been replaced at some point in the recent past.