This powerful portrait is of the artists son, Peter John Stephens. Peter John was a writer of historical fiction books for teenagers. He was also a poet, a lyricist for operas and musicals, and a playwright. His play, A Power of Dreams, was produced off-Broadway with the husband and wife comedy team of Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara starring in the production.
Retaining his British citizenship, Peter John wrote articles for the British Information Service, Rockefeller Centre, New York City.
He was briefly married to the novelist, Henrietta Buckmaster, before Marcia Nichols Holden, a foster daughter of Harry Sidney Nichols, was a poet and editor.
Thomas E. Stephens was a Welsh-American artist and portrait painter. He was also a close friend of President Dwight D. Eisenhower who referred to him as ‘Dear Tommy’.
He studied at the Art School of Cardiff University, then the Heatherly School in London, and then at the Académie Julian in Paris. His portrait of Eisenhower hangs in the Smithsonian Institution Gallery of Presidents in Washington, D.C. and his portrait of Dwight and Mamie at Gettysburg Battlefield home. His portrait of Eisenhower was the front page of Time Magazine April 4, 1969, Eisenhower’s obituary issue.
He also painted George C. Marshall and Douglas MacArthur (Cover of Life Magazine August 28, 1950), and many other portraits of the Army’s foremost generals of World War which he was commissioned by the United States Military Academy to paint. He also painted many judges such as Fred M. Vinson and Charles Davenport Lockwood. He painted Harry Truman and the entire Eisenhower cabinet such as George M. Humphrey, Secretary of the Treasury. He also painted the Duke of Windsor and Winston Churchill which Eisenhower had requested of Churchill.
His works are in the White House, Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., U.S. Supreme Court, The Pentagon, Walter Reed Hospital, U.S. Military Academy, West Point, U. S. Naval Academy, Eisenhower Museum, Abilene, Kansas, Legion of Honor Gallery, Paris; U.S. Embassy, London, I. B. M. , Cornell University, Columbia University, Harvard University, Harry Truman Library. Member of the Salmagundi Club and others. (Who’s Who in American Art, 1952, p. 586. )