- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 6, 2017

Calling all political junkies, pastel-art historians and sketch-artist enthusiasts who want to relive the scandal that redefined how the public, media and world interacted with the U.S. government: A New York City gallery now is offering contemporaneous Watergate courtroom and news sketches for sale.

98 Bowery put on sale 24 pieces of Freda L. Reiter’s work Thursday, when she covering the notorious 26-month long scandal for ABC News that eventually led to the first and only resignation of the president of the United States.

Some of the sketches show realistic scenes, of an empty, disheveled jury room or of a witness walking to his hearing. Others are creative interpretations, like the portrait with a tear streaming down President Nixon’s cheek after he signed his last resignation papers.

Major characters and bit players from the Watergate saga are captured in Ms. Reiter’s work, from top White House aides H.R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman and Chuck Colson to Nixon lawyer James D. St. Clair and Maureen Dean, wife of onetime White House counsel John Dean.

Prices range from $1500 to $2800.

Sketch art in modern-day journalism is considered an obsolete practice since most courtrooms allow cameras. However, when Ms. Reiter’s work was the most accurate visual journalists could capture when important people testified under oath, it was essential.

“Despite their long history, courtroom drawings and other journalistic illustration have rarely entered the world of fine art,” the online description of the exhibition reads. “Now, in the wake of Pop art, and the blurring of lines between fine arts and mass media, the work of artists like Reiter can be better appreciated both as aesthetic achievements and as part of the historical record.”

Ms. Reiter was an artist for various publications before she died of cancer in 1986. She received an Emmy for her work in connection with the Iranian hostage crisis only a few years before she died.

Sketches can be viewed at the auction house’s website at

https://gallery.98bowery.com/exhibition/watergate-art-nixon-freda-reiter/

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