It turns out that Artist could be the next career move for George Bush. The former president plans to share his work with the public at the presidential library in 2014 with two separate exhibits. The George Bush Presidential Center opened on May 1, 2013, and is located in the former President’s home town state of Texas in the city of Dallas. The two exhibits being shown at the library are named, The Art of Leadership, A President’s Personal Diplomacy which will be on exhibit in April of 2014. All Creatures Great Small: Christmas at the White House 2002, will be on display in November of 2014.
The paintings exhibited in The Art of Leadership, A President’s Personal Diplomacy, will reflect on the relationship the former president developed with the leaders of the world during his presidency as well as, educate people on the role of leadership and global democracy. The artwork will also exhibit photo’s and personal belongings that will elaborate on the stories and relationships expressed in the portraits.
George Bush will continue to share his artistic career with the public in November 2014, during his second series, All Creatures Great and Small: Christmas at the White House 2002. The exhibit features the role animals played during George W’s stay at the famous residence. Not only will artwork by the president of his beloved pets Barney, ornaments of indigenous birds designed by American artist, replicas of the families pets, and the Barney Cam, the infamous recordings of a day in the life of Barney around the White House.
President Bush is not the first former US President who turned to art after his term in office. Other presidents who dabbled in the arts were, Ulysses S. Grant, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Jimmy Carter, but it was the Prime Minister of England, Winston Churchill that inspired Bush to pick up the hobby. Laura Bush explained in an interview with David Greene from NPR how the presidents passion for painting came to fruition. Laura Bush shared sketches he did for her and his twin daughters with an artist friend who commented on the president’s career potential as an artist. That lead to Bush’s interest in a book by Churchill, Painting as a Pastime. Bush hired private instructor, Gail Norfleet who he meets with once a week for lessons.
The George Bush Presidential Center is home to information and artifacts of the life and career of the forty-third president. The center is not only a great resource for American history, and public and international policy during the president’s time in office, it now offers us a look into the life of the former president after his term in office. The public is able to follow George W’s progress and emerging natural talent as an artist. The jury is still out if the title of ‘Artist’ will actually become a true career move for George Bush, but it is something he is dedicated and passionate about. His paintings tell us a much greater story than his love for his pets, there is a much greater meaning in his work and technique. This chapter of his life in paintings will no doubt be an interesting one for the world to watch unfold.
By Christina Thompson