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Accession Number 1900.001
Catalog Number 1900.001.057
Object Name Painting
Title Portrait of John W. Brown
Description Half-length portrait of Ohio's 58th governor John W. Brown. Brown served briefly from January 3, 1957 to January 14, 1957, serving out Frank Lausche's term who resigned to take his seat in the U.S. Senate. Brown has his arms folded across his chest and stands next to a draped red curtain. He wears a gray suit with a white shirt and a blue and white striped tie. He wears a white flounced handkerchief in his breast pocket.
Date 1970
Artist Wilson, David Philip, 1902-1981
Notes John W. Brown was born on December 28, 1913, in Athens, Ohio. He graduated from Lancaster High School in 1932 and embarked upon a career in business. His various business exploits included sales, insurance, and real estate to name just a few. He also served as an Ohio Highway Patrolman. With World War II's outbreak, Brown joined the U.S. Coast Guard. Upon the war's conclusion, he returned to Medina, Ohio, where he had moved to in 1941.

In 1950, Brown, a member of the Republican Party, embarked upon a political career, winning election to Medina's mayoral office. He held this position until 1952, when he became Ohio's lieutenant governor. In 1956, Brown sought the Republican Party's nomination for the Ohio governor's office, but lost out to C. William O'Neill. Despite losing the nomination, Brown still became governor. In January 1957, Governor Frank Lausche resigned the governor's seat to become one of Ohio's two U.S. Senators and as lieutenant governor, Brown became governor. He served in office for the remainder of Lausche's term from January 3, 1957 to January 14, 1957.

Considering his short time in office, Brown accomplished a great deal as Ohio's fifty-eighth governor. The primary reason for his success was the fact that the Republican Party controlled both houses of the Ohio legislature and Brown was also a Republican. In his inaugural address, Brown called for Ohio to enact measures to conserve the environment, to increase funding to education, and to deal with problems arising from urbanization. While the state legislature failed to deal with all of these issues during Brown's brief term, Brown succeeded in ending a strike at the Ohio Consolidated Telephone Company in Portsmouth, Ohio. He also commuted the sentences of four people from first degree murder to second degree murder, allowing them to qualify for parole. Interestingly, Brown also was the last governor to reside in the Governor's Mansion located on East Broad Street in Columbus.

Upon the end of his term as governor, Brown won election to the Ohio House of Representatives, serving in this capacity during 1959 and 1960. In 1961, he joined the Ohio Senate, and in 1962, Brown won election as lieutenant governor, remaining in this office from 1963 to 1975. He served longer as Ohio's lieutenant governor than any other person to hold this position. Brown died on October 29, 1993.
People Brown, John W., 1913-1993
Wilson, David Philip, 1902-1981
Signed Name "David Philip Wilson 1970 From Photos"
Sig Loc Lower left
Image size 30" x 25"
Frame size 34-1/2 x 29-1/2"
Frame desc Second-half twentieth century cove molded gilt frame
Material Oil Paint/Canvas/Wood
Provenance In 1867, the Ohio General Assembly passed a joint resolution relative to the governors of Ohio. The legislators resolved that "the secretary of state, on the first Monday of January next, whether the portraits of the governors of Ohio, state and territorial, can be procured, and if so, whether original portraits or copies, and the probable expense of procuring such portraits for the governor's office."

This portrait was painted and signed by David Philip Wilson.

In a Ohio Historical Society publication, "Echoes," an article states "Portraits of four recent governors have been added to the gallery of governors' portraits in the State House, Columbus.

The oil paintings are of Frank J. Lausche, governor, 1945-47, 1949-57; John W. Brown, January 3-14, 1957; C.William O'Neill, 1957-1959; and Michael V. DiSalle, 1959-1963. Each subject is represented as he appeared when in office.

The Ohio Historical Society commissioned the paintings from Worthington, Ohio, artist David Philip Wilson. A portrait of Governor James A. Rhodes is in preparation. It will complete the collection of sixty-one former governors."

The Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board took over the care of the Statehouse and its collections in 1988.
Search Terms Ohio Governor
Ohio Governor's Portraits
Subjects Governors
Portrait paintings
Collection Statehouse Artwork Collection/Governors' Portraits