“Declaration of Independence,” by Oscar de Mejo (1911-1992)

The Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization (AHI) is pleased to announce the receipt from private collectors of “Declaration of Independence,” a painting by Oscar de Mejo (1911-1992). De Mejo was born in Trieste, Italy.  He migrated from London to the United States in 1947.  Before his death, he had acquired a considerable reputation as a painter of Naïve art.  On his passing, The New York Times noted that his “primitive and sometimes surreal paintings have been exhibited in the United States and in Europe.” He had a particular interest in depicting American heroes and scenes from American history.  Gillo Dorfles in a foreword to a published volume on De Mejo’s paintings, calls them “ironic,” De Mejo looks on his subjects “with a benevolent and unconventional eye.”  In 1982, he painted “Declaration of Independence,” a 48” by 68” representation in acrylic of Roger Sherman, Robert Livingston, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin presenting the draft of the Declaration to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia.  The painting is now on display in the Alice & James Bradfield Room of the AHI, 21 West Park Row, Clinton, New York.

“Declaration of Independence,” a painting by Oscar de Mejo (1911-1992) hanging in the AHI's Bradfield Room

“The two persons who gifted the AHI with the De Mejo painting,” said AHI Charter Fellow Robert Paquette, “have stood by our side from the beginning.  Both have an interest in higher education reform.  Both understand the importance of history and tradition in maintaining the greatness of the Republic.  The AHI is deeply grateful to the donors for their wonderful and humbling act of generosity.  The spot in the Bradfield Room where the painting now hangs seems to have been made to order.”