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Smithsonian Hunts For Portrait Of Berry Gordy Dressed As Napoleon


July 16, 2013, 10:40 AM

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The Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery is searching for a famous portrait of Motown Records founder Berry Gordy dressed up to look like Napoleon.

Detroit News: The painting, created by a Detroit artist, is just as it sounds. Gordy, the brilliant, autocratic founder of one of the most iconic music labels ever, is depicted in early-19th-century military garb of the French emperor who tried to conquer the world.

“Berry said, ‘Damn, I like that,’” the artist, DeVon Cunningham, recalled Gordy commenting when he first saw the portrait that had been commissioned by Gordy’s sister.

No, really. There is a painting of Berry Gordy dressed like Napoleon and he used to display it prominently in his home. Do you think David Geffen has fresco mural of himself as Genghis Khan?

Are we been a tad over-judgey by thinking it is really, really weird for a grown man to have (or have had) a painting of himself looking like Napoleon? No, we are not. That's some bonkers stuff right there.

Of all the world-conquering despots in history, why did Gordy identify with Napoleon? The News offers one very plausible explanation: "Berry Gordy’s exact height is not known, but he is not a tall man."


Read more:  The Detroit News


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