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Object Record

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Accession Number 1900.001
Catalog Number 1900.001.055
Object Name Painting
Title Portrait of Frank Lausche
Description Portrait of Ohio's 55th and 57th governor Frank Lausche. He wears a blue suit with a white shirt and a blue tie. He has wavy dark hair. The background is deep red. The artist signed the painting in the upper right-hand corner, "After Photographs 1954, David Philip Wilson 1970".
Date 1970
Artist Wilson, David Philip, 1902-1981
Notes Frank John Lausche was Ohio's only five-term governor.

Lausche was born on November 14, 1895, in Cleveland, Ohio. After a brief stint as a minor-league baseball player, he enlisted in the U.S. Army during World War I. He attained the rank of second lieutenant. With the war's conclusion, Lausche entered the John Marshall School of Law, graduating in 1920.

For the next twelve years, Lausche practiced law in Cleveland. In 1932, he embarked upon a career in politics, becoming a municipal judge in Cleveland. He held this office from 1932 until 1937, when he became a judge with the Court of Common Pleas. In 1941, Lausche, a Democrat, won election as mayor of Cleveland, an office that he held until 1944. Lausche received seventy-one percent of the vote in the mayor's race in 1941. He held the office of mayor until he was elected Ohio's fifty-fifth governor, 1945-1947.

Lausche was a member of the Democratic Party, but in his various political offices, Lausche became well known for his moderate views. He routinely crossed party lines, voting for what he thought was right and not what his party demanded of him. As governor, he became well known for his fiscal conservatism. His moderate views partly cost him reelection as Ohio's governor in 1946, but two years later, Ohio voters reelected Lausche to the governor's seat. Lausche served as Ohio's 55th governor from 1945 to 1947 and as the 57th governor serving four consecutive terms from 1949 to 1957.

What remains surprising about Lausche's lengthy time in office is that the Republican Party held a dominant majority in state offices during this time. By being moderate in his views, Lausche probably remained in office much longer than he otherwise would have done so. Of Slovenian ancestry, Lausche also attracted ethnic voters, especially in Ohio's major cities. He was the only five-term governor in Ohio's history. While Lausche served as governor, Harry Truman, a Democrat, and Dwight Eisenhower, a Republican, considered selecting Lausche as their vice-presidential running mate.

In 1956, Lausche successfully ran for one of Ohio's two U.S. Senate seats. He became known as “Frank the Fence" because of his willingness to cross party lines. He won reelection in 1962, but because of his apparent lack of loyalty to the Democratic Party, Lausche failed to secure his party's nomination in 1968. He served in the Senate from January 3, 1957 to January 3, 1969.

Following his two terms in the U.S. Senate, Lausche retired from public life. He died on April 21, 1990.
People Lausche, Frank John, 1895-1990
Wilson, David Philip, 1902-1981
Signed Name David Philip Wilson
Sig Loc Upper Right
Image size 30" x 25"
Frame size 34-1/2" x 29-1/2"
Frame desc Second-half of the 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."

David Philip Wilson painted and signed this portrait of Governor Lausche.

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