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Photograph Signed.
Wife and "right hand man" of "Mr. Republican" Robert A. Taft (1889-1953). influential Ohio senator and son of President William Howard Taft; Robert Jr. was son of Martha and Robert and also served Ohio as U.S. senator. PS, 8" X 10", n.p., n.y. [1955]. Very good. Handsome glossy print of renowned Canadian photographer Yousuf Karsh's portrait of Robert A. Taft, signed on the white lower margin by Martha Taft and at upper left in a grey background area by son Robert Jr., who adds "Wish Best Wishes." Accompanied by a TLS from Martha Taft's long-time assistant Darrah Dunham Wunder, 1p, 6" X 7½", Cincinnati, OH, 1955 January 30. Addressed to Gerald L. Arnholt. Near fine. Mrs. Taft suffered a paralyzing stroke in 1949, leaving only her right arm without paralysis; Wunder moved in with the family to help tend to her. In this moving letter to an admirer, she recounts the situation and this photograph. In part: "Mrs. Taft is still too ill to write letters. She did manage to sign her name to the photograph of the Senator I am sending you. I also had young Bob autograph it up in the left hand corner. You may remember that Bob, Jr. is in the Ohio Legislature, having been elected last Fall. He ran 3600 votes ahead of the ticket, although it was the first time he had ever been a candidate. Mrs. Taft had a gall bladder operation last September, and her recovery is very slow. She now sits up for an hour or two a day, but is far from well.... We all appreciate the high tribute you pay Senator Taft. He was a wonderful person, and it is very difficult to be reconciled to his loss...." Signed in full. A most unusual and uncommon portrait -- quite scarce in itself even unsigned, as an original Karsh print -- made even more unusual by the signatures of Taft's wife and son. A delightful piece of Ohio history.
      [Bookseller: Main Street Fine Books & Manuscripts, AB]
Last Found On: 2017-06-22           Check availability:      Biblio    

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