Bust of Young John F. Kennedy by Nison Tregor


In the late 1920s, the Lithuanian sculptor Nison Tregor (Lithuania/America, 1904 - 1972)) was commissioned by Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. to do portraits of his children. There were at least two sculptures cast, one that grouped three of the children together; and, another single portrait of John F. Kennedy, Jr. This portrait of the young JFK is remarkable sensitive. Cast by Roman Bronze Works, it is the only known version of the work.

13 1/2 × 10 1/2 × 9 in.

Nison Tregor was born in Vilna, Lithuania in 1904 and served as a non-commissioned officer in the Russian Army from 1919 through 1920. In 1922, Tregor came to the United States and studied sculpture under Malvina Hoffman and Herman Atkins McNeil. He created busts of Dwight D. Eisenhower and also of General Douglas MacArthur, Governor Alfred E. Smith of New York, Henry Ford, Knute Rochne of Notre Dame and many others. Tregor's portrait of Dwight D. Eisenhower is in the collection of the White House, and for several years held a place of prominence in the Oval Office.

In early 1945, Tregor was assigned to the headquarters of 12th U.S. Army Group as an MFAA (Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program, a.k.a. "The Monuments Men") liaison officer. In addition to his work at the Wiesbaden Central Collecting Point, he was sent on many special assignments within the U.S. Zone of Occupation to advise on the rehabilitation and restitution of sculptures. In 1945, he delivered to the Wiesbaden Central Collecting Point Auguste Rodin‘s stolen bronze "L’age d’ Airain" as well as Champagne’s "Portrait of a Young Man" after it was found in the Berlin home of Joseph Goebbels.