John Bolton

John Bolton

Friday, December 19, 2008

George and Laura Unveil Official Portraits for the National Portrait Gallery


President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush pose beside their portraits at the unveiling at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, December 19, 2008. Bush's portrait was painted by Robert Anderson and Laura's portrait was painted by Aleksander Titovets.

In her remarks at the unveiling in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington Mrs. Bush showed her always present humorous side:

MRS. BUSH: Thanks for working to unveil these portraits early -- while President Bush is still in office. Upstairs, I saw that Dolley Madison's portrait is praised for "offering a glimpse of the aging Mrs. Madison." (Laughter.) That's exactly the type of compliment I was hoping to avoid. (Laughter.) When your image is captured for posterity, my motto is the sooner the better.
A remarkable likeness!


President looks at his portrait, painted by Robert Anderson.

President's Bush's remarks at the unveiling were loaded with his usual self deprecating humor:

PRESIDENT BUSH: I suspected there would be a good-size crowd once the word got out about my hanging.
want to thank the artists. Sasha, you had it easy -- it does not take much to make Laura look beautiful. (Laughter.) Anderson had a bigger challenge. (Laughter.) And therefore, I needed to find a person who would do the painting that would be a good and forgiving friend. And so I want to thank my buddy -- my college classmate, Bob Anderson, for painting this portrait. It actually looks like me, which is a good sign. (Laughter.) You did a fabulous job.

This is not the first time that Bob has painted me. He had a warm-up -- he did my portrait for the Yale Club. Recently, I asked him what was different this time around. He said, well, this time around he had to use a lot more gray. (Laughter.) I also understood Bob didn't have any difficulty depicting my eyes or my hands -- but he had a lot of trouble with my mouth. I told him, "That makes two of us." (Laughter.)

A former Washington resident once said: "Whenever you hear about somebody being done in oil in this town, you can't be sure whether that means painting, or boiling." (Laughter.) That was a wise observation from a good and decent man -- one who has offered me a lot of wisdom and advice throughout my life, and I am proud to have my portrait in the same room as President 41, George H. W. Bush.
Two weeks earlier, another portrait, this one in Philadelphia:


U.S. President George W. Bush attends the unveiling of The Union League of Philadelphia's Portrait of the President at their headquarters in Philadelphia, December 6, 2008.

Agree or Disagree with the Bush's there is no denying they are a class act!

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