Diplomatic Reception Rooms, U.S. Department of State

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Web Property of the U.S. Department of State


Object Details

Edward Morris Murray (American, 1902-1946)
United States: District of Columbia: Washington
North American
oil on canvas
Overall: 47 1/4 in x 37 1/4 in; 120.015 cm x 94.615 cm
This portrait of Cordell Hull was painted from life in the Old State Department Building (Executive Office Building) in 1943 while (then) Lieutenant Commander Murray was on duty in the Navy. The portrait was in the possession of Mr. and Mrs. Hull until 1949, when it was sent to the National Gallery of Art, where three copies of it were painted. It was received in the Department of State from the National Gallery on July 22, 1949.
Signed "E Murray 1943"
Credit Line
Gift of The National Gallery of Art
The Diplomatic Reception Rooms, U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C.
Accession Number


Cordell Hull (1871–1955) was born in 1871, near Byrdstown, Tennessee. He graduated from the Cumberland School of Law and served in the Tennessee legislature before being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1906 and then, in 1930, to the U.S. Senate. In 1933 President

Franklin Delano Roosevelt appointed Hull as secretary of state. He would be the longest-serving secretary in the nation’s history.

President Roosevelt was actively involved in U.S. foreign policy and typically represented the United States at the major conferences with Allied leaders during World War II. Nevertheless Hull had many notable achievements. Among them was his strong support for President Roosevelt’s “Good Neighbor” policy toward Latin America. At the December 1933 meeting of the International Conference of American States in Montevideo, Uruguay, he announced that the U.S. government would henceforth observe a policy of “nonintervention” in the affairs of its neighbors in the Western Hemisphere. Hull believed that free trade promoted international peace and prosperity, and in 1934 he helped secure passage of the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act (RTAA), which gave the president the authority to personally negotiate bilateral tariff reductions. Most notably, Hull also championed the creation of the United Nations, and his staff drafted its charter. For these efforts Hull was honored with the Nobel Peace Prize in 1945.