In addition to title of President of the United States, George W. Bush can now add painter to his extensive resume. On Friday, the former president unveiled a series of paintings during an interview on NBC’s “Today” show as part of a new exhibit titled, “The Art of Leadership: A President’s Personal Diplomacy” at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas. The paintings showcase a number of world leaders including Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Dalai Lama, Tony Blair, and Afghan President Hamid Karzai. The exhibit will run through June 3.
The collection also includes a portrait of the 41st president, George H.W. Bush, in addition to a self-portrait that many consider artistically well-done. Over two-dozen paintings will be on display for visitors eager to see the former president’s first gallery showing in person.
In mid-November 2013, Bush appeared on the “Tonight Show with Jay Leno” where he first surprised the audience with his painting talent. According to the interview, he was inspired to take up this hobby after reading a Winston Churchill essay.
The exhibit comes at an opportune time when the Bush family is reentering the media spotlight; in particular with news that Jeb Bush may consider a run for the white house in 2016. This weekend also marks the 25th anniversary of George H.W. Bush’s administration. The extra publicity appears to be a positive on many fronts for the multi-generational political family. After George W. Bush left office, the family spent numerous years out of the spotlight. This time away from the forefront has provided a change in perspective and attitude from the American people, especially in regard to George H.W. Bush’s term in office.