Old Maid – James Buchanan
2000, oil and acrylic on canvas
James Buchanan was our only bachelor President, and may well have been our first gay President. According to popular mythology of his day, James was engaged to Anne Coleman. Anne committed suicide after a mysterious argument with James. Brokenhearted, he never dated again. In fact, James lived with a man whose last name was King (note the card in his pocket) for 20 years. A popular card game for children, Old Maid leaves the one holding the Old Maid card as the loser. I thought it would be fun to do a spin on the game by making our only bachelor President the Old Maid.
James was hardly a loser. He was a U.S. Representative, minister to Russia, minister to Great Britain, U.S. Senator, Secretary of State, and President.