JD Salinger appears at the Smithsonian

To honour the passing of the legendary author JD Salinger, the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery is exhibiting a Robert Vickrey portrait of The Catcher in the Rye author.

Vickrey's depiction of the notoriously reclusive writer can be found in the first-floor gallery, dedicated to artworks remembering recently deceased important individuals.


Robert Vickrey's vivid portrait of
author JD Salinger, featured on the
cover of Time magazine in 1961

Vickrey's Salinger portrait appeared on cover of Time magazine in 1961.

Meanwhile, on the autographs and memorabilia markets, values of Salinger signatures - already among the rarest and most sought-after in the world - are likely to skyrocket.

One such autograph is penned on a typed letter from Salinger to his lover Janet Eagleson. In it, Salinger bemoans, "A shitty month here, threats from the press..."

The letter is dated 1981, three decades after the author slipped further into reclusiveness following the unprecedented success of The Catcher in the Rye, his tome to teenage angst, in 1951.

Salinger's reference to "threats from the press" in his writings to Janet is understood to be typical of his unswerving antipathy towards the media.

"I see us opening a little clothing store," he suggests to Janet, elsewhere in the letter.

The signed letter is currently available on the market, for sale to collectors priced £6,750 ($11,150).

JD Salinger died at his New Hampshire home on January 27, aged 91.

 

Image: National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution



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