About Us

Skylights in the museum's great hall

Press Room

Photograph of the Late Barbara Bush by Diana Walker On View at the National Portrait Gallery

April 18, 2018

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery recognizes the life of Barbara Bush with a photograph by Diana Walker taken in 1989. The portrait will be installed this morning in the museum’s In Memoriam space, on the first floor, and will be on view through Sunday, April 29. Media are invited to view and photograph the portrait during a special open house today beginning at 11:30 a.m.

Admired for her candor and down-to-earth approach to public life, Bush enjoyed considerable popularity as the nation’s First Lady during the presidency of her husband, George H.W. Bush (1989–93). Just 16 when she met the future president in 1941, she married him four years later and embarked on a life that would include raising six children, one of whom, George W. Bush, became the 43rd president. During her tenure as First Lady, Bush championed efforts to combat illiteracy. In 1989, she established the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy and later directed proceeds from the publication of Millie’s Book—a behind-the-scenes look at White House life from the perspective of the Bush family’s beloved springer spaniel—to fund literacy initiatives. The First Lady and Millie appear together in this photograph, which was taken on the White House grounds.

An image of this portrait is available for press at newsdesk.si.edu; the work can also be photographed or filmed in the museum. For access, contact Marielba Alvarez at alvarezma@si.edu.

National Portrait Gallery

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery tells the multifaceted story of the United States through the individuals who have shaped American culture. Spanning the visual arts, performing arts and new media, the Portrait Gallery portrays poets and presidents, visionaries and villains, actors and activists, whose lives tell the American story.

The National Portrait Gallery is part of the Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture at Eighth and F streets N.W., Washington, D.C. Smithsonian information: (202) 633-1000. Connect with the museum at npg.si.edu, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and the museum’s blog.

# # #