Freda Reiter – President Richard Nixon, H.R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman in Oval Office – Pastel Drawing

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Recreation of 1973 conversation, drawn to accompany television playback of Nixon White House tapes during the 1974 trial.

Pastel drawing, 17″ x 14″

Watergate exhibition page

Freda L. Reiter

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Since cameras were banned from courtrooms, news outlets depended on professional sketch artists like Freda Reiter for visuals. When Reiter was assigned the Watergate burglary trial, in 1973, she had no idea that she would be spending the better part of two years in Washington.

Watergate Courtroom Sketches by Freda L. Reiter, 1973–75

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To provide sufficient visuals for the substantial airtime allotted to the story each night, Reiter made multiple sketches a day: close-up portraits, as well as wide-angle views of the courtroom incorporating as many as 28 figures.