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Presidential portrait (United States)

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Title: Presidential portrait (United States)  
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Subject: Pete Souza, List of Presidents of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson
Collection: Articles Containing Video Clips, Portraits by Subject, White House
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Presidential portrait (United States)

Gilbert Stuart, first painter to paint a Presidential portrait.

An Official Presidential Portrait is an oil photography as widely used and reliable technology, the official portrait of the President may also be a photograph. Presidents often display the official portraits of Presidents they admire (on loan from the National Portrait Gallery) in the Oval Office or around the White House.


  • History 1
    • George Washington 1.1
    • Theodore Roosevelt 1.2
    • Calvin Coolidge 1.3
    • Herbert Hoover 1.4
    • John F. Kennedy 1.5
    • Bill Clinton 1.6
    • George W. Bush 1.7
    • Barack Obama 1.8
  • Gallery of presidential portraits 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


George Washington

The Presidential portrait of First Lady Dolley Madison when the British burned down the White House in the War of 1812.[1]

John Singer Sargent was the artist who painted Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt

President [2]

Sargent followed Roosevelt around the rooms of the White House, making sketches looking for the right lighting and pose, but was unhappy with them. When Roosevelt headed toward a staircase to try the rooms on the second level, both of their patience was running thin. Roosevelt suggested that Sargent didn't have a clue what he (Sargent) wanted. Sargent responded that Roosevelt didn't know what was needed to pose for a portrait. Roosevelt having reached the landing, planted his hand on the balustrade post, and turned to Sargent angrily demanding "Don't I?!" And the perfect pose had been found.

Roosevelt, always active, only agreed to stay still for half an hour a day, after lunch. But the portrait was eventually finished, and adored by Roosevelt.[2]

Calvin Coolidge

During Ronald Reagan's presidency, he moved Coolidge's portrait from the Grand Hall into the Cabinet Room next to Thomas Jefferson's portrait. Reagan has always quoted, and admired Coolidge and thought Coolidge's impressive performance in the "roaring twenties" was outstanding. It was believed by Reagan that Coolidge's portrait was much more suitable next to a founding father.

Herbert Hoover

President Herbert Hoover's official portrait was completed 23 years after he left office. The first official portrait was painted by John Christen Johansen in 1941. However, Hoover later commissioned a second portrait which was completed in 1956 by Elmer Wesley Greene. At Hoover's request, this painting replaced the original, and currently stands as the official White House portrait.[3] The Johansen painting now resides at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum in West Branch, Iowa.[4]

John F. Kennedy

White House Curator William G. Allman discusses the inspiration behind Shikler's portrait of John F. Kennedy

President John F. Kennedy's official portrait was painted posthumously by Aaron Shikler by request of Jacqueline Kennedy in 1970. It is generally analyzed as a character study. Unlike most presidential portraits, Kennedy's depicts the president as pensive, with eyes downcast and arms folded. According to Shikler, Jackie's only stipulation was for him to create an image different from "the way everybody else makes him look, with the bags under his eyes and that penetrating gaze. I'm tired of that image." Shikler drew a few sketches based on photographs, one of which inspired by Ted Kennedy's somber pose at his brother's grave, his arms crossed and his head bowed. Jackie chose that sketch as the final pose.[5] Shikler also painted the official White House portraits of first lady Jacqueline Kennedy and the Kennedy children.

Bill Clinton

The Presidential portrait of Bill Clinton was the first of such portraits to be painted by an African American, Simmie Knox.[6]

George W. Bush

The official White House portrait of

  • the White House Official Portraits of the US Presidents
  • White House Historical Association

External links

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  2. ^ a b
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  12. ^ Smithsonian exhibits 3-D portraits of President Obama. LA Times by David Ng. December 2, 2014.


See also

Gallery of presidential portraits

Obama was the first President to have 3D portraits taken, which were displayed in the Smithsonian Castle in December 2014.[12]

Barack Obama was the first President to have his portrait taken with a digital camera in January 2009 by Pete Souza, the then official White House photographer.[11] The picture was taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II. The painted portrait of Barack Obama is expected to be finished at the end of his tenure as President.

Members of the USC Institute for Creative Technologies, the Smithsonian Institution, and White House staff discuss the creation of Barack Obama's 3D portrait.

Barack Obama

The caption at the National Portrait Gallery beside President Bush's portrait originally read that his administration was "marked by a series of catastrophic events..." [including] "...the attacks on September 11, 2001, that led to wars in Afghanistan and Iraq." Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders wrote a letter to the director of the National Portrait Gallery, noting the link between the terrorist attacks and Iraq had been "debunked". Director Martin E. Sullivan assured him the label would be changed to delete "led to".[10]

[9] This was an official portrait commissioned by the White House, but funded by private donorship.[8] on December 19, 2008. President Bush jokingly opened the unveiling with "Welcome to my hanging", which resulted in laughter from the room.Washington, D.C. which was revealed at the same time as her husband's portrait. In addition, Bush's portrait for the National Portrait Gallery was uncharacteristically released several weeks before his administration had ended. Painted by Robert A. Anderson, it was unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution in Laura Bush who also painted the official portrait for First Lady John Howard Sanden It was painted by [7]

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