The Portraits

Staff member working in collections and putting a painting away

George W. Bush

Artist
Robert A. Anderson, born 1946
Sitter
George Walker Bush, born 6 Jul 1946
Date
2008
Type
Painting
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
Stretcher: 132.4 x 92.7cm (52 1/8 x 36 1/2")
Frame: 152.1 x 111.4cm (59 7/8 x 43 7/8")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of American Fidelity Foundation, J. Thomas and Stefanie Atherton, William S. and Ann Atherton, Dr. Jon C. and Jane G. Axton, Dr. Lee and Sherry Beasley, Thomas A. Cellucci, A. James Clark, Richard H. Collins, Edward and Kaye Cook, Don and Alice Dahlgren, Mr. and Mrs. James L. Easton, Robert Edmund, Robert and Nancy Payne Ellis, Dr. Tom and Cheryl Hewett, Dr. Dodge and Lori Hill, Pete and Shelley Kourtis, Tom and Judy Love, David L. McCombs, Tom and Brenda McDaniel, Herman and LaDonna Meinders, The Norick Family, Kenneth and Gail Ochs, Robert and Sylvia Slater, Richard L. Thurston, Lew and Myra Ward, Dr. James and Susan Wendelken, Jim and Jill Williams
Restrictions & Rights
Work for hire - NPG owns copyright
Object number
NPG.2008.51
Exhibition Label
Forty-third president, 2001–2009
Like John Quincy Adams of Massachusetts, Texasborn Republican George W. Bush was the eldest son of a president. Also like Adams, Bush was elected in a close and controversial election against a Democratic vice president. Bush’s victory over Al Gore was ultimately decided by a Supreme Court ruling with regard to recounting votes in Florida. Expecting that his presidency would center largely on domestic issues, he instead found his two terms dominated by a series of cataclysmic events. Above all, there were the terrorist attacks of 9/11, which required the development of a policy to fight al-Qaeda and worldwide terrorism. Abroad, Bush mounted major military actions in Afghanistan and Iraq. At home, he faced the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina and a major financial crisis. Despite Bush’s efforts to safeguard the country’s security and welfare, criticism that his administration had been ineffectual caused him to leave office with his reputation at a low ebb. Bush selected Robert Anderson, a Connecticut portraitist and a Yale classmate of his, to create this painting for the National Portrait Gallery. He requested an informal image and posed at Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland.
43o presidente, 2001–2009
Al igual que John Quincy Adams, de Massachusetts, el republicano de Texas George W. Bush era el hijo mayor de un pasado presidente. Y también como Adams, Bush resultó electo en un proceso controversial y muy reñido contra un vicepresidente demócrata. Su victoria sobre Al Gore terminó por decidirse mediante una sentencia del Tribunal Supremo concerniente al recuento de los votos en Florida. Si bien Bush esperaba que su presidencia se centraría sobre todo en asuntos de índole nacional, sus dos períodos estuvieron dominados por una serie de sucesos cataclísmicos. Por sobre todo están los ataques del 11 de septiembre, que requirió el desarrollo de una política para combatir a al-Qaeda y el terrorismo a nivel mundial. En el ámbito exterior, Bush desplegó grandes operaciones militares en Afganistán e Iraq. En el ámbito nacional, tuvo que afrontar la devastación del huracán Katrina y una grave crisis financiera. A pesar de sus esfuerzos por salvaguardar el bienestar y la seguridad del país, cuando dejó su cargo su reputación se encontraba en un punto bajo debido a las críticas de que su administración fue inefectiva. Bush seleccionó a Robert Anderson, retratista de Connecticut que había sido compañero de clases suyo en Yale, para que hiciera esta pintura para la National Portrait Gallery. El presidente solicitó una imagen informal y posó en Camp David, residencia de descanso de los presidentes ubicada en Maryland.
Provenance
Commissioned NPG 2008
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Exhibition
America's Presidents (Reinstallation September 2017)
On View
NPG, West Gallery 210