Obama Presidential Portrait
The Television was in its usual state when I went downstairs this morning to get my coffee. It was on. Dana Parino was hosting a documentary program about the Presidency of George W. Bush. Part of her presentation was when she was in the White House with President Bush discussing various Presidents’ paintings. The Portrait of Lincoln was his favorite. He favored history and mentioned he emulated Lincoln during his presidency. I couldn’t help but wonder how President Obama will control the creation of his masterpiece.
I learned that it is the Non-Profit White House Historical Association who foots the bill using private donors. That is really good for us because some of those paintings nowadays cost as much as $40,000. The National Portrait Gallery is where you can find most of the paintings of our presidents. President Bush had his own donors cover the expense for his. But Presidents can’t have their portraits unveiled until after their term of office is complete. During their presidency, a photograph is used, and after that the photo is replaced by the painting. During Bush’s portrait unveiling in the White House, he stated to the guests: “Welcome to my hanging!
Presidents normally pick their preferred painter. With Clinton, Hillary controlled that. Why does that not surprise me? She reviewed many offers and interviewed and reviewed the work of a lot of them. And sometimes she would permit Bill to tag along on some of the interviews. They decided on a black man from the South, the first black man to ever be called upon do a president’s portrait. I’m guessing she might have done that for political reasons in the event she ran for office. That would be a good campaign item to work into her speeches. She had the man paint a portrait of her as well, for the First Lady’s picture. The question was, I am sure, which painter is going to get us the most votes. There is another interesting fact off the subject of paintings, Clinton doesn’t have a Presidential Library, it’s an Adult Book Store.
Needless to say, President Kennedy’s portrait was painted after his death and Jackie controlled that one. The artist did not want to paint a dead man’s eyes so the portrait shows the President looking down in such a way that his eyes are not visible. President Kennedy was my President when I was in high school. Like most young people then and today, it seems being a democrat is the right thing to do. Then later in life we find out who these democrats are, what they do to get elected and how they stay elected. I was an early convert to Republicanism. You notice they don’t have an “ism” for democrats so they use the closest thing to it calling themselves followers of socialism or communism. I think if you have a political following, you should be able to describe it with an “ism. Just like their party, democratism doesn’t work.
But then we have the forthcoming portrait of President Obama. And I am sure Michelle is really going to get involved in that effort. In fact, she already is, coming up with a potential painter who she gave the leeway to present what he felt would be a good idea. They even have it hung already in the White House, but where no one can see it yet. That way they can check it out occasionally to see if it tickles their fancy. It is a painting of the President sitting on top of the world. The globe clearly looks like it is made of porcelain. His pose portrays him looking like a President sitting on a throne. I suppose that is what gave them the idea to hang it in the President’s private bathroom. That way he can get used to viewing himself while sitting on a porcelain throne, sitting on top of the world with his pants down below his knees. The painter was careful to insure his pants were not so low that they would obscure his presidential shoeshine.