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Current Exhibitions

The 1963 Warren Court in Photographs and Sculpture

Warren Court Sculpture

As public figures, Supreme Court Justices are frequently depicted by artists and illustrators. This exhibit highlights the work of two such artists, photographer Yousuf Karsh and sculptor Phillip Ratner, who both portrayed members of the Warren Court in the early 1960s.

Included are a late 1963 sculptural portrait of the nine Justices on the Bench and preparatory sketches by Mr. Ratner, and several photographic portraits of Justices by Mr. Karsh for the book "The Warren Court" by author John P. Frank. To acquaint Mr. Karsh with the Justices prior to taking their portraits, Mr. Frank wrote his own one-paragraph "portrait" of each, which later appeared next to the photographs in the book. Several of Karsh's portraits are paired with excerpts from Frank's essays in the exhibit.

Chief Justice Earl Warren
Pictures of the Chief Justice [Earl Warren] usually bring out the bland Scandinavian kindness and leave out the Viking. The Chief Justice is kind, he is wonderfully courteous, he is gentle in his dealings. But he is also prodigiously forceful, with locomotive drive.... The task of the photographer is to suggest a personality which can be genuinely concerned with the meaningful lesser things...and at the same time take decisive hold of the ultimates of our society.


SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES 1 First Street, NE Washington, DC 20543