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Wednesday, May 24, 2023


Art Lien on the U.S. Supreme Court steps

Arthur "Art" Lien—sometimes simply known as “Courtartist”—goes where cameras cannot. He’s been sketching courts since 1976, and for most of that time his main beat has been the U.S. Supreme Court. Since 1980 he has worked almost exclusively for NBC News, and recently he started drawing for SCOTUSblog. 

On his website, Art notes, “Courtroom sketching is a form of visual journalism or reportage drawing that is slowly dying out. Where once upon a time news organization each had their own artist covering a story, today a ‘pool’ artist often sketches for all.” 

 Lien retired in 2022 after 45 years documenting judicial proceedings most notably at the Supreme Court, Washington DC.

Not all of Arthur Lien's courtroom sketches were based at the Supreme Court
in Washington DC.  Above is Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev at his arraignment in Boston, July 10, 2012.

CourtArtist at work.

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