A close up image of the American flag.

Americans Who Tell the Truth: A Portrait Series

An excerpt from Robert Shetterly's Portraits of Earth Justice

Robert Shetterly began painting the Americans Who Tell the Truth portraits over twenty years ago as an act of defiance and love; defiance against the culture of lies promoting the war against Iraq, and love for the people who throughout our history have had the courage to tell truth to unjust power while demanding that our ideals be mirrored in our actions. Among the more than 250 portraits that followed, 50 appear in Portraits of Earth Justice, out now from New Village Press.

A portrait of Bill McKibben, an older white man with very short hair, green eyes, and a blue, long-sleeved shirt. The background for his portrait is green.

Bill McKibben


A portrait of Grace lee Boggs, and eldery woman with short white hair. She is wearing a long sleeve black shirt under a black vest. Her background is gray.

Grace Lee Boggs


A portrait of Jaysa Huter Mellers, a younger Black girl. She has a short protective hairstyle with yellow/gold accessories. She wears a white button down shirt with gold buttons, and her background is blue.

Jaysa Hunter Mellers


A portrait of Majora Carter, a Black woman with a short protective hairstyle. She is wearing a black dress and jacket with a black necklace. Her background is turquoise.

Majora Carter


A portrait of Naomi Klein, a white woman with shoulder length brown hair. She wears a green shirt under a gray jacket, and her background is red.

Naomi Klein


A portrait of Rachel Carson, an older white woman with short red hair. She wears all black and her background is a dark gray.

Rachel Carson


A portrait of Robin Kimmerer, an older woman with shoulder length gray hair. She wears a dark blue jacket over a green shirt, and she also wears a beaded medallion necklace. Her background is purple.

Robin Wall Kimmerer


A portrait of Wendell Berry, an older white man with short white hair. He wears a blue shirt, and his background is green.

Wendell Berry


You can find Portraits of Earth Justice here.


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Robert Shetterly is an artist based in Maine whose paintings and prints appear in collections across the United States and Europe. He is best known for his Americans Who Tell the Truth portrait series, which he began in 2002, during the run-up to the Iraq War, in an effort to surround himself with people who made him proud to be an American.