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George W. Bush said in a debate with John Kerry that The Rio Grande is one of his favorite paintings. The following transcript reveals what the painting means to him personally.
In the Oval Office, there's a painting by a friend of Laura and mine named -- by Tom Lea. And it's a West Texas painting, a painting of a mountain scene.
And he said this about it.
He said, "Sarah and I live on the east side of the mountain. It's the sunrise side, not the sunset side. It's the side to see the day that is coming, not to see the day that is gone. "
I love the optimism in that painting, because that's how I feel about America . . .
(Bush quoted in the Washington Post Online)
You can see the painting at
Bill Clinton at a recent unveiling of his presidential portrait spoke of the meaning he gleaned from the past presidential portraits. The following transcript reveals the meaning and solace he gleaned from these masterpieces.
I like John Singer Sargent's portrait of Theodore Roosevelt over there. But there's one over in the Cabinet Room by a man named Laszlo of Theodore Roosevelt. I used to look at it all the time when I felt bad and I worried, "Was the war in Bosnia going to come out all right? Would the Kosovar refugees ever be able to go home?"
Because if you look at that picture, Theodore Roosevelt, who was known as our most macho, bully, self-confident president, you look at that picture and you see here's a human being who's scared to death and not sure it's going to come out all right. And he does the right thing, anyway. That's what I saw in that picture.
(Clinton quoted in the Washington Post Online)
The following website link will take you to a portrait of the Laszlo and Sargent paintings.
Take your own virtual trip of the White House Art Collection at
White House-Selected Works
Did you know that former U.S. President Jimmy Carter is an artist?
Visit Jimmy Carter (The Carter Center) to see his artwork.
The Signing of the Constitution painting by Howard Chandler Christy which hangs
in the U.S. Capitol inspired Michele Bachmann to run for President!
How much was the artist paid to create it?
When was it painted?
How much did the frame cost?
See the Painting at the
Ambassadair Journal Inflight Magazine-List of Presidential Library Websites