This week former president George W Bush dedicated his library and Museum to the US nation. It has become an American tradition, to build a museum where documents and presidential papers are stored for posterity. The library and museum, along with Bush’s policy institute, are housed in the George W. Bush Presidential Center. It is located on the campus of Southern Methodist University, in Dallas Texas. The center was dedicated last week during a ceremony which featured W Bush, President Barack Obama, and former Presidents Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush, the Presidents father.
The museum is described as the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. It tells the story of the United States in an extraordinary time. Using artifacts, documents, photographs, and videos from the Library’s extensive collection, the 14,000 square foot Museum includes features, such as a full-sized Oval Office and a Texas Rose Garden. Interactive features in the permanent exhibition include a Decision Points Theater designed to take the visitor “inside” the decision-making process and policies developed during the Administration of President George W. Bush. This must be complicated!
This state occasion gave the former leader a chance to speak out about his new favourite hobby, painting. “People are surprised,” he told the Dallas Morning News. “Of course, some people are surprised I can even read.” Presenter Diane Sawyer in an interview was told by the President that; “painting has changed my life in an unbelievably positive way.” Laura his wife joined in and explained that George learned to draw and paint an an iPad app. Like the British artist David Hockney Bush is enthusiastic about this devise, as a creative tool.
In February, the notorious hacker Guccifer published photos of Bush’s paintings including two self-portraits. Bonnie Flood, Bush’s current art teacher said; “Bush has a passion for painting” There are two nudes among his creations one is a self-portrait in the shower the other a rendition of the former Commander in Chief in the bath. Both are reminiscent of A – level student work. Flood says, “The President learned quickly and soon started painting fewer dogs and more landscapes”. “He has such a passion for painting, it’s amazing,” Flood said. “He’s going to go down in the history books as a great artist.” The President signs all of his work with a trademark ’43’. Sounds cryptic eh? But those in the know recall that he was the 43rd President of the United States of America. Hopefully W will donate some of his masterpieces to his Library/museum in Texas, and who knows he may even inspire a whole new generation of young artists. We look forward, in years to come to seeing his remarkable nude self portraits displayed in the Smithsonian or even the National Gallery in Washington.
Main Photo courtesy: George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum
Below: Paintings by George W Bush
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