​Raven Vs. The Congress Of The United States

United States District Court, District Of Columbia

December 20th, 2016
Docket No: 16-1682 C

Mr. Julian Marcus Raven



The United States Congress,

Committee On Rules And Administration,

Chairman Senator Roy Blunt; The Smithsonian

Board Of Regents, Chancellor & Chief Justice John Roberts;

The Smithsonian Institution, National Portrait Gallery

Director Kim Sajet; Smithsonian Provost Dr. Richard Kurin

 & Smithsonian Spokeswoman Linda St. Thomas.






1.The Court has jurisdiction over these parties and these matters pursuant to 28 U.S.C § 1491(a)(1)

2. That on November 30th 2016 Artist Julian Raven, from 2524 Co. Rt. 60 in Elmira, New York, did apply to the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery to have his historic and nationally recognized Donald J. Trump Portrait/painting ‘Unafraid And Unashamed’ shown as a historic American fine art presentation, commemoration and tribute by a member of the People of the United States, in the People’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. to the now President Elect Donald J. Trump during the inauguration proceedings in January, 2017.  Said application was started by email through Director Of Smithsonian Affiliations Harold Closter on November 30th, 2016.  Upon receiving confirmation of said application Mr. Raven did call the Director of the Smithsonian NPG (National Portrait Gallery) Kim Sajet on the morning of December 1st. 2016 to inquire as to the ‘application’ process. Mr. Raven wanted to ensure that there was nothing lacking in the 20 plus page application document, which included letters of recommendation from elected representatives from upwards of 200,000 people.  These included Congressman Tom Reed, New York Senator Tom O’Mara, Mayor Mandell, New York GOP chairpersons, Cox, Cady, King, Strange, radio personality Frank Acomb and art collectors Gates/Davis.

2a. After leaving his phone number with the assistant to the Director of the NPG, Mr. Raven expected a call the next day or thereafter to inform him of any further steps necessary for the application process.  Within 15 minutes of the initial phone call to the assistant, Director Sajet personally called Mr. Raven back.  To his surprise the director had made special effort to respond immediately to his call.  This surprise would lead to an eleven-minute conversation/argument with the NPG director, as Dir. Sajet would lay our her arbitrary and personal objections as to why the NPG would not even consider Mr. Raven’s painting.

3. These objections ranged from its size being ‘too big’ to partially and incorrectly citing a NPG standard for acceptance, to claiming the image was too ‘Pro-Trump’, ‘Too Political’ and finally ‘no good’.  As each of the objections were refuted by Mr. Raven, the tone of the conversation became heated.  After Director Sajet’s objections were refuted her final and arbitrary decision was that she did ‘not like’ the portrait and that is was ‘no good’, again showing her personal bias against Mr. Raven and his painting.  The Smithsonian has a scribbled pen and ink cartoon of Mr. Trump in its portrait collection but Mr. Raven’s portrait is ‘no good’!


3a. After speaking with Director Sajet it seemed as if she herself did not know what the standards for acceptance to the NPG were. “Even today, in every instance, the historical significance of the subject is judged before the artistic merit of the portrait, or the prominence of the artist.”


3b. Objecting to the Trump Painting as ‘too political’ is an objection by a government agency to speech it deems politically incorrect.  By allowing, accepting and showing the Obama ‘HOPE’ poster, the NPG made it clear it accepted political beliefs/speech from left wing activists.  The Obama poster is a highly political work of art.  By rejecting the Trump Painting as ‘too political’ the NPG has censored my political free speech as a conservative and right-wing Republican.

http://npg.si.edu/object/npg_NPG.2008.52 (Obama poster at the NPG)

First Amendment To The Constitution Of The United States ‘Congress shall make no law…’

42 U.S. Code § 1983 - Civil action for deprivation of rights

3c. Once Congress created ‘standards’ or ‘guidelines’ for acceptance of portraits at the National Portrait Gallery, Congress created certain ‘rights’ of participation.  Those standards gave the right to any citizen to participate in the gallery so long as they met those standards.  By ignoring those ‘guidelines’ Director Sajet has become judge, jury and executioner using her own ‘guidelines’ for rejection or acceptance. 

As an employee of the Federal Government Director Sajet has trampled Mr. Raven’s rights.

42 U.S. Code § 1983 - Civil action for deprivation of rights

3d. The arbitrary objection to the size of the painting.  Dir. Sajet objected at the outset to the size of the nearly 8x16 foot Trump Portrait and Painting, disqualifying the work because of its scale!  No standards are mentioned anywhere in the entire body of acceptance guidelines at the National Portrait Gallery or the Smithsonian Institute.  For an objection about scale from an institution whose mission is the ‘increase and diffusion of knowledge’ again seems contrary.  How can you get an ‘increase’ by limiting the size!  And ‘Increase’ when applied to the pictorial arts would include the size of the art as a quantifiable factor when measuring ‘increase’.  It would be similar to objecting to a T-Rex skeleton as ‘too big’ or a giant golden nugget as ‘too big’ or the statue of David as ‘too big!’  Surprisingly after about five minutes into the heated discussion Director Sajet when pressed on the objection to the size, began to backtrack and eventually apologized for her ridiculous objection.  This behavior is evidence of a hasty, personal and ill informed decision from the person at the NPG who is supposedly in charge and should know what she is talking about!

3e.  Director Sajet said the portrait was disqualified since it was not created from life.  At this point Mr. Raven was in disbelief.  He immediately cited the reception and showing of the Obama ‘Poster’ being intimately acquainted with the story of its creation as evidence that they surely did show work not taken from life.  At this point Director Sajet insisted that the poster had been created from life by the artist!  This is absolutely false! This was where the NPG Director twisted the truth to support her bias.  One only has to examine the conviction of the artist in question to discover that the ‘Hope’ poster was a digitized photograph from AP photographer Mannie Friedman.  It turns out that what the director cited was partially true, the standard did require portraits to be from life.  But as with this entire story, the guideline was quoted partially since it says; “that works must be the best likeness possible; original portraits from life, if possible;”


3f.  Based upon Director Sajet’s final words to the plaintiff this legal complaint has been made.  The final words were something like this. ‘I am the Director of the NPG, this application will not go forward or even be considered, you can appeal my decision all you want…’

4. Mr. Raven refuted much of Dir. Sajet’s objections on the basis that the NPG on January 17th, 2009 had installed the pro-Obama, political campaign ‘HOPE’ poster by Artist Shepherd Fairey as precedent for both a presidential inaugural pictorial show/tribute in the NPG, to establishing precedent for the highly pro-Obama content and the manner of the creation of the poster during the 2008-2009 presidential campaign, thus its relevance to the historic moment. 

5. Upon further research of the multiple, clearly established, congressionally established principals/criteria of acceptance of ‘art’ into the Smithsonian NPG both in the ‘Programme Of Organization’ from 1847 and in the standards set by the 1962/62 Congressionally appointed commission for the creation of the National Portrait Gallery, Mr. Raven was further disturbed by the undocumented and personal call he had received from Director Sajet. 

6. Mr. Raven had presented a publically supported, 20 plus page written application to the NPG.  Mr. Raven’s application would be cast aside by one bizarre eleven minute, arbitrary, unfounded and personally opinionated phone call by the NPG Director Kim Sajet.  The phone call had more in common with a private art gallery than a National Public Trust.  Arbitrary personal tastes and bias are the norm in the subjective art world.  They should not be part of the National Portrait Gallery.  The 1963 commission clearly said “Thus, the standards for accepting portraits varied considerably from other galleries.”  http://siarchives.si.edu/history/national-portrait-gallery

7. Upon further research, Mr. Raven did appeal to the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institute through the Chief Of Staff to the Regents Ms. Wilkinson.  In the now 40 plus page appeal to each member of the Regents Mr. Raven did lay out his case against the arbitrary decision of Director Sajet.  Without receiving any acknowledgement from Chief of Staff Wilkinson, Mr. Raven did receive a letter from Smithsonian Provost Dr. Richard Kurin.  (Information subpoena will be requested to verify appeal was directed to the Board Of Regents.)

42 U.S. Code § 1983 - Civil action for deprivation of rights

8. Mr. Raven had appealed to the Board Of Regents who are the congressionally appointed Trustees of the Will of Smithsonian founder Mr. James Smithson.  Since the board of Regents has fiduciary responsibilities in being executors of Mr. Smithson’s will, they alone are responsible for the conduct of federal employees who act on their behalf.  According to Probate Law, Trustees are bound to a Duty Of Care, Duty of Loyalty, Duty Not To Delegate Authority and other grave responsibilities that govern the actions of Trustees.

15 U.S. Code § 80a–35 - Breach of fiduciary duty

29 U.S. Code § 1109 - Liability for breach of fiduciary duty

9. In Dr. Kurin’s letter he now assumed the role of spokesperson for the Board Of Regents even though he was not mentioned in the appeal. In his letter Dr. Kurin again cited an arbitrary reason for the refusal.  Dr. Kurin now appealed to a ‘recent tradition’, which seemed to allude to the 2009 Obama poster, in the NPG showing a portrait of the President Elect.   Dr. Kurin claimed this was a ‘long planned’ event, (remember this was only 4 weeks after Mr. Trump won the election, so ‘long planned’ is already suspect!) which strangely had not come to light until after the media began to be aware of the rejection of the Trump Portrait application.  If it was so  ‘long planned’ and obviously such a special event how come it only came to light after the Trump Portrait application issue became public knowledge?  (Plaintiff will subpoena documentation to verify that this is true.)

10. This objection is a classical logical fallacy.  An ‘appeal to tradition’ by Dr. Kurin again circumnavigated the standards established by Congress for portraiture acceptance.  It claimed that this so called ‘recent tradition’ was binding and rigid forbidding the showing of any other work of art for such an historic event such as the inauguration of President Elect Donald J. Trump.  Dr. Kurin claimed that the Smithsonian’s so called ‘long planned’ event with a selection of art from its archives (1989 in this case) superseded the precedent established on January 17th, 2009 of showing of a ‘politically’ relevant and contemporary work of art related to the historic win of Barack Obama. 

11. One would think that if all the art in the world related to Mr. Trump were what the Smithsonian had in its archives, one would agree to show the one and only old and dated photo!  Also one would think that even if in the midst of this ‘long planned event’ to show an old photo, an institution dedicated to the ‘increase and diffusion of knowledge’ would welcome a new, contemporary and politically relevant portrait depicting the soon to be inaugurated President of the United States, thus increasing knowledge as was done with the Obama ‘HOPE’ poster?

12. Amazingly, the photo selected from the NPG archive is from 1989 and has no relevance to the political campaign and election of Donald Trump where as the Trump Portrait by Mr. Raven has everything to do with the campaign and election. It now became clear that the officials in the Smithsonian were violating the very own charter of the Smithsonian set out by the testator Mr. Smithson, that an Institution be established for the ‘increase and diffusion of knowledge.’  The NPG, by refusing the Trump Portrait/Painting and choosing an already seen archival image, they now were refusing an ‘increase and diffusion of knowledge’, directly related to this unprecedented and historic election.

13. Dr. Kurin concluded his letter by saying he had spoken with Dir. Kim Sajet and ‘concurred’ with her decision.  Again the Smithsonian officials now agree together with the arbitrary, personal and unfounded objections of Dir. Kim Sajet.  Nowhere is there any documentation to show what that decision consisted of, just a personal undocumented phone call!

42 U.S. Code § 1983 - Civil action for deprivation of rights

14. The Smithsonian has long been under scrutiny for its lack of transparency as indicated in the IRC Report from 2007;

(https://www.si.edu/content/governance/pdf/IRC_report.pdf) This behavior seems to be pervasive and systemic.  For an institution to respond in such sloppy, biased and unprofessional manner, can only be further evidence of the leadership void created by the ‘hands off’ approach of the Board Of Regents. (IRC Report)  It was said of Mr. Smithson that; ““His methods were scrupulously careful, and he saw the importance of detailed work even on modest scientific investigations. At the end of a paper on the element fluorine, for instance, he wrote “there may be persons who, measuring the importance of the subject by the magnitude of the object, will cast a supercilious look on this discussion; but the particle and the planet are subject to the same laws, and what is learned of the one will be known of the other.” He repeatedly advocated the publication of even marginal advances, rather than withholding them on the assumption that they were insufficiently important.”   

15. The spirit of the Founder and Testator Mr. Smithson, so clearly visible in his quest for knowledge reflected in his meticulous, careful, detailed character in documenting even the most ‘supercilious’ information and discovery is so lacking in these officials who do not even care to document in an informed manner their arbitrary decisions!

16. To further prove this point to be true, Smithsonian Spokeswoman Linda St. Thomas went on record saying “"There's a process that we go through when we acquire a work of art, and it has to be decided by the museum's curators and director, so it's a process," Smithsonian Institution Chief Spokesperson Linda St. Thomas said. "We really don't need to go through such a process since we already have our own." WETM18 NEWS:


17. Here it is clear of the contradictory nature of the behavior of the Smithsonian.  Ms. St. Thomas alludes to a ‘process’, which in this has been refused to Mr. Raven.  That ‘process’ one would assume would line up any work of art with the congressional standards of acceptance to see if it meets them whether by purchase, donation or loan, the standards should remain constant.  This was never done for Mr. Raven.  Here Mr. Raven’s congressionally established ‘rights’ have been clearly violated.  To arbitrarily deny even the ‘right’ of application based on arbitrary standards is a violation of Mr. Raven’s congressionally established rights.

42 U.S. Code § 1983 - Civil action for deprivation of rights

18. Also the refusal to accept new ‘knowledge’ when it was accepted for President Obama’s inauguration, but not for Mr. Trump is clearly on show.  Ms. St. Thomas’s statement is a complete negation to the legally binding duties of the Trustees and their employees to the beneficiaries, to run an institution for the ‘Increase’ of knowledge!

19. Here the Smithsonian is clearly censoring new ‘knowledge’, prohibiting the beneficiaries determined to be the people of the United States and ‘mankind’ in the will and testament of Mr. James Smithson from benefiting from an ‘increase and diffusion of knowledge’ in the pictorial recording of this recent history.  Thus all fiduciary duties have been violated!
15 U.S. Code § 80a–35 - Breach of fiduciary duty

29 U.S. Code § 1109
- Liability for breach of fiduciary duty

19b. In the 1847 charter, written for Congress by Mr. Joseph Henry, we can see where once again government should never have been involved with the Smithson bequeathment.  In article 6 of said document we read, “The will makes no restriction in favor of any particular kind of knowledge, hence all branches are entitled to a share of attention.”   http://siarchives.si.edu/collections/siris_sic_481

Since ‘all’ branches of knowledge are ‘entitled’ to a share of attention.  Government here has created the ‘right’ for all types of knowledge to participate in the benefits of the Smithson bequeathment.

But in 1978 in Crowley vs. Smithsonian, the government violates its own established mission statement regarding the ‘increase and diffusion of knowledge.’  We saw the Government say that ‘ALL’ branches of knowledge are ‘entitled’ to a share of attention and yet in this case the Government censors ‘knowledge’ relating to Biblical Creation as it suddenly claims ‘Government cannot establish a religion’ or in other words Government cannot display that ‘kind’ of knowledge!  What happened to ‘ALL’ branches of knowledge?

The Government should never have taken on the role of executors of the will of Smithson is clearly demonstrated by the fact they are barred from involvement by the first Amendment in the establishment clause!



20. In another media interview Ms. St. Thomas finally closed the door on the beneficiary slighting, congressional standards ignoring and fiduciary law breaking world of the Smithsonian by saying; “You don’t apply to have portraits or artifacts taken into the Smithsonian,” Smithsonian spokesperson Linda St. Thomas told The Daily Caller Tuesday.

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2016/12/13/smithsonian-says-no-to-new-york-artists-trump-portrait/#ixzz4TIWzanuZ

The law again contradicts this statement!

20 U.S.C. § 50
: US Code - Section 50: Reception and arrangement of specimens and objects of art - See more at: http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/uscode/20/3/I/50#sthash.fJ6rYrve.xF90HzSk.dpuf

If there was no ‘application process’ according to Spokeswoman St. Thomas, why did Director Closter forward the application to NPG Director Sajet?  Why did Director Sajet call Mr. Raven to object to his application?  And why did Dr. Kurin concur with Dir. Sajet’s rejection of even considering the application if there were not an application process?

21. Mr. Raven was not looking to donate his painting to the Smithsonian, nor sell it at this time, but simply to put the painting on show, loaning the painting to the Smithsonian for the historic inauguration of President Elect Donald J. Trump. What better way is there in the pictorial arts to commemorate such an occasion than with the only recognized and relevant presidential campaign portrait of President Elect Donald J. Trump?  Instead the NPG will show a dated, 1989 photograph of a young Donald Trump ‘tossing an apple in the air with his right hand’!


22. It appears that in order to have artwork accepted ‘on loan’ at the Smithsonian Institution, you need to give a $716.000 dollar donation, be a member of a board and bear the name Cosby.  For Mr. and Mrs. Bill Cosby could loan their Art collection and have it shown even when Mr. Cosby was and continues to be under federal investigation for his alleged sexual crimes and that was justified and accepted by Dr. Kurin!



23.  Clearly, Congress created in 1846 an environment where compounded ‘rights’ were created by the acceptance of the Smithson bequeathment.  The current culture in the Smithsonian Institute behaves as if there are no beneficiaries and that at the Smithsonian they are not accountable to the executors of the will, the Board Of Regents or to the beneficiaries.  The perpetual state of the Trust will only end when all knowledge is finally increased and diffused.  Until then, the Smithson Will & Testament keeps on bequeathing.  And as such, committed, competent, faithful and honorable executors must be charged with the ongoing task.  There is no doubt as to the competency of the esteemed members of the current board, the problem remains as indicated in the IRC Report, that the members are too busy, not involved enough since it is not their primary occupation.  The beneficiaries must be continually identified, honored, respected, educated and invited into their place as participants and recipients of the institution founded for the ‘increase and diffusion of knowledge for all men’ since it is to their benefit but more importantly it is their right!

There is far more to this case, which Mr. Raven will gladly present to the Court at the hearing.  All pertinent documents and evidence not contained in this initial complaint can be found at www.thetrumppainting.com under the Smithsonian tab: Original Application, Email to Director Harold Closter, Letters of recommendation, Appeal, Press Release, Letter From Dr. Kurin, Response to Dr. Kurin, Press Release 2, Science of Bias chart.

WHEREFORE. Mr. Julian Raven demands judgment against Defendants as follows:

1. That an immediate ‘Stay Of Judgment’ be issued by Congress’s ‘Committee on Rules And Administration’ regarding the arbitrary decision of NPG Director Kim Sajet.

2. That an immediate internal review be conducted into the case of the Trump Portrait ‘Unafraid And Unashamed’ Application by Mr. Julian Raven and its rejection by the Smithsonian Institution, due to the fast approaching inauguration date on January 20th, 2017. 

3. That a congressionally instituted consideration be applied to the application and a written acceptance or refusal be presented to Mr. Raven with stated reasons according to the ‘guidelines’ of acceptance established in the Congressional Establishment Of The Smithsonian Institute in 1846, The ‘Programme Of Organization’ of 1847 and the National Portrait Gallery Commission of 1963 be clearly given.

4. That if the portrait be accepted, that Congress immediately direct the NPG to assist Mr. Raven in the reception of the Trump Painting in every way necessary which includes transportation, insurance, the organization of a ceremony the week of the inauguration and that Mr. Raven and his family be formally hosted by the NPG in Washington D.C. for said festivities.
That gubernatorial reforms be immediately considered and instituted by Congress regarding the role of the Board Of Regents because of their fiduciary failures to the Testator Mr. James Smithson and to the beneficiaries, the people of the United States Of America and mankind, both in this case and as mentioned in the IRC report from 2007.
The IRC Report from 2007 clearly highlights the systemic fiduciary failures at the Smithsonian Institution and Mr. Raven is personally convinced that the government should relinquish its control over the Smithsonian because of its fiduciary failures.  The court is requested to remove the Government Of The United Stated of America as executor of the Will Of Mr. James Smithson and hand the trust and responsibility over to a private institution solely dedicated to the faithful execution of the Will Of Mr. Smithson.  In the governments own ‘Programme Of Organization’ it confesses to the fact in article 3., that the establishment is that of an ‘individual’ and not a ‘national establishment’ and thus what is the government doing being involved in this private matter? 

5. Such reforms include a smaller governing board comprised of full time executives.  Again the time and commitment problems are clearly indicated in the IRC Report and by the present Board Of Regents handing off the appeal by Mr. Raven to an employee of the Institution.  Thus negating the appeal of a legally entitled beneficiary by giving it back to the officials who are part of the problem and whose decisions are thus being appealed!  By doing this, the Board Of Regents has ignored and trampled the rights of Mr. Raven as both a beneficiary of the Will of Smithson and a recipient of the rights created by Congress by establishing a ‘process’ for the acceptance of portraiture that beneficiaries can participate in according to the 1963 NPG Commission.

6. That by these reforms consideration be given to proposition the Smithsonian become a separate and private institution, separate from the Government since it has always been a role the US Government should not have undertaken.  Since its founding the Smithsonian Institution should have been an independent and private foundation/trust/non profit.  Imagine today if a citizen from another country were to give a large sum of money at his death to the United States Of America with which the US Government in turn would create an institution for said individual and subsequently manage said institution with that person’s name on it for what ever the testator desired his money be used for?  It would never happen today nor should it have happened back in 1846.  This explains why it took 10 years for Congress to decide what to do with the Smithson bequest. The funds should have been given to private individuals to execute the will of the Testator on behalf of the beneficiaries separate from government involvement.

7. It may be that because of the large sum of money given in the Will of Smithson in possession of Congress at that time, deposited in the National Treasury, which increased dramatically by interest over the decade of indecision, that Congress just absorbed the funds by proximity and was unable to let go!  The large sum of money basically grew into the Government and national economy and by its mere presence in the bank something like osmosis took place!
That reasonable financial compensation to be decided by the court be given to Mr. Raven because of the emotional, mental and physical strain this violation of his rights as a citizen and as a legal beneficiary has taken on his personal and family life.  This experience went from an excited possibility of another historic step in this historic pictorial journey to being stunned at the response from the Smithsonian Institution.  The initial response to Dir. Sajet’s call was confusion and bewilderment at the bizarre nature of the call. Then to utter disappointment at the manner and content of the phone call to its numbing effect upon his heart and mind for several days feeling like he had poked a wasp’s nest and was stung all over!  Since that time this whole ordeal has consumed Mr. Raven, becoming a necessary focus that has taken up all of his time since December 1st, 2016.  He would much rather be in his studio, but the creative mode and focus is a distant reality when facing down these injustices at the hands of people who are meant to be friendly towards art and artists!

8. The application cover letter requested an estimated compensation dollar amount. ($$$$$ was entered.) Mr. Raven is not looking for compensation unless it is deemed deserving, and as such Mr. Raven does not know what that amount should be, trusting a fair decision by the Court to determine this if at all.

Signed:            Julian Raven

December 20, 2016

Address: 714 Baldwin St. 

Elmira, New York, 14901


Email: info@julianraven.com

Mr. Julian Raven is representing himself, pro se.


PART 4 of 4

PART 3 of 4

Radio Interview with Frank Acomb of Frankly Speaking in Corning, New York. PART 1 of 4

PART 2 of 4

The Trump Painting By Artist Julian Raven from New York.  The Trump Painting was on display at the 2016 RNC in Cleveland New York. The Trump Portrait was seen at the New York Delegation's hotel in the center of Cleveland.  The Trump painting was also part of a 5 second video show at the RNC convention.  The video by Trump Executive Lynne Patton featured the image of the Trump Painting on the side of the Trump Truck.

The Trump Painting and The Trump Presidential Portrait webpage.  The Trump Painting has been on a prophetic journey since its creation back in the summer of 2015. Trump Painting, Trump Portrait and Trump Presidential Painting.  Historic painting by artist Julian Raven, the Trump Painting has been seen across the country.  The Trump Painting portrays Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States of America.  You may ask where is The Trump Painting located?  The Trump Portrait is presently on show at the artist's studio in Elmira, New York. A copy of The Trump Painting hangs proudly in the new Trump Campaign headquarters located in Trump Tower in New York City. 


The Trump Painting & Portrait, 'Unafraid And Unashamed'The Trump Painting & Portrait, 'Unafraid And Unashamed' Product description: The Trump Painting And Trump Portrait 'Unafraid and Unashamed' By Julian Raven
Julian RavenArtist607-215-8711 email: Julian Raven Website: