An Ex-President, Brush in Hand, Captures His Fellow Leaders

tags: George W. Bush, painting



The world’s most distinctive gallery of international leaders opens in Dallas on Saturday, famous faces as seen through the eyes of the former president of the United States and noted amateur painter George W. Bush. Graduating from dogs and cats and landscapes, Mr. Bush has produced a collection of more than two dozen portraits of foreign figures he encountered while in office and put them on display at his presidential library.

The official debut of the artist known as W. peels back the curtain on the hobby that has consumed him, and intrigued many others, over the last couple of years. Although some of his early works, including vaguely unsettling self-portraits in the bath and shower, were posted on the Internet after his family’s email accounts were hacked, this is the first time the former president has staged an exhibit of his art. His choices are as revealing about the artist as the subjects.

“I spent a lot of time on personal diplomacy and I befriended leaders,” Mr. Bush said in a seven-minute video produced by the History Channel that will greet visitors to the George W. Bush Presidential Center, on the campus of Southern Methodist University. “I learned about their families and their likes and dislikes, to the point where I felt comfortable painting them.”




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