Our Cover, Explained

by Richard Brookhiser

Readers who want to identify the signers of the Constitution on NR’s current cover will find a useful key in the Wikipedia article on the painting (“Signing of the Constitution,” by Howard Chandler Christy).

The bald head over a hidden face at the very back of the room belongs to Jacob Broom of Delaware, who was the only signer of whom no picture or description survives. Artists who depict the event realistically have adopted different strategies to deal with him (in Signers’ Hall at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, his bronze statue holds a hand over his face for a convenient scratch).

If you google Howard Chandler Christy paintings, you will find “The Signing of the Constitution,” a handsome Hollywood Christ, and many women who were not at the Constitutional Convention, though Gouverneur Morris may have known some of them.

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