Frame: 113.7 x 107.3 x 6.4cm (44 3/4 x 42 1/4 x 2 1/2")
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Mr. and Mrs. J. O. Stewart
In 1968 Laura Welch graduated from Southern Methodist University and became an elementary school teacher in Dallas. She then obtained a master of science degree from the University of Texas at Austin, and was employed as a librarian. In 1977 she married George W. Bush, and in 1981 gave birth to twin daughters. During the years her husband was governor of Texas, she worked for children's causes and on issues dealing with women's health, literacy, and libraries. As first lady of the United States, Laura Bush has continued to focus on those issues. In November 2001 she delivered the weekly presidential radio address on the hardships suffered by women in Afghanistan. She was the first first lady-and the only person other than the president-to use this format to speak to the national and international community on an important social issue.
Laura Bush chose Aleksander Titovets, a Russian-trained painter who now lives in Texas, to paint her portrait for the National Portrait Gallery.