More than two dozen portraits painted by the 43rd U.S.
president will be part of exhibit called "The Art of Leadership:
A President's Personal Diplomacy," the George W. Bush
Presidential Center said on Monday.
The center did not mention the subjects of the portraits.
Artifacts, photographs and personal reflections will also be
part of the exhibit, which the center said will "provide an
insider's view into President Bush's unique relationships with
other world leaders." His works will be displayed at the George
W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum on the campus of
Southern Methodist University in Dallas in early April.
After leaving the presidency in 2009, Bush picked up a brush and
has painted still lifes, landscapes and images of animals,
including a perched cardinal that the center featured on
Christmas ornaments, and a tribute to Barney, his black Scottish
terrier who died in 2013.
The portfolio includes self-portraits. In 2013, a hacker
obtained Bush family emails that included a painting of the
former president in the shower, looking at himself in a shaving
mirror, and another of a pair of legs extended in a bathtub.
Bush, who lives in Dallas, took painting lessons after leaving
the White House and told the Dallas Morning News his interest
developed after reading former British Prime Minister Winston
Churchill's 1948 book, "Painting as a Pastime."
"It's a way to create," Bush, who signs his paintings "43," told
the newspaper. "I enjoy creating ... You can express yourself in
a way that's unique."
(Reporting and writing by Bill Trott;
editing by Susan Heavey and Bernadette Baum)
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