February 25th, 2014
10:36 AM ET
9 years ago

George W. Bush to feature paintings in gallery showing

(CNN) - Former President-turned-painter George W. Bush will feature his work in an art exhibit starting this April, unveiling more than two dozen portraits that have never been made public.

The exhibit, "The Art of Leadership: A President's Personal Diplomacy," will feature his paintings, as well as artifacts, photographs, and personal reflections about his relationships made on the world stage, according to the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas, which is hosting the exhibit.

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After leaving office in 2009, the 43rd President took up painting as a hobby and hired an instructor, telling his teacher: "There's a Rembrandt trapped in this body. Your job is to find it."

In November, he unveiled one of his portraits–a large painting of comedian Jay Leno–during an appearance on "The Tonight Show."

"I do take painting seriously, it's changed my life," he said.

Bush likes to paint landscapes, dogs, and the classic fruit-in-a-bowl, as revealed when the Bush family's email accounts were hacked last year.

At Bush's presidential library opening last April, former President Bill Clinton teased his successor about paintings found in the emails that appear to have been created in the bathroom.

"Those bathroom sketches were wonderful, but at my age, I think I should keep my suit," Clinton joked.

Bush told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King that the hobby helps him relax and see colors in a new light.

"I am, I guess, tapping a part of the brain that, you know, certainly never used when I was a teenager. And I get the satisfaction out of completing a project," he said, adding that he loves to paint people's pets and give the paintings as gifts.

"And I readily concede the signature is more valuable than the painting," he joked.

The Lead: Art critic's take on former President George W. Bush's paintings

Opinion: Bush paints, but is he any good?

Filed under: George W. Bush
soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. Tampa Tim

    Anyone ever hear of the Housing Affordability Act of 2002?

    February 25, 2014 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Me wrote:

    Last, the great recession would have happened even if Clinton would have had a third term, in other words, it would have happened no matter who was in office! The cause of it came from YEARS, about 20 years of bad policy, I did a large term paper on the causes of the great recession a little over a year ago and all research I did according to peer reviewed journals, points to YEARS of bad policies. One of the main contributors was the housing policies Clinton passed when he was in office, it contributed to the housing bubble which has been widely accepted as the main cause in the academic world. But it wasn't just policies from Clinton, policies all the way back to Reagan can be traced to the house bubble as well.
    Hmm. Recent term paper? I guess that means that you're fresh out of school, if not still in attendance.

    Unnamed politices from unnamed peer reviewed journals? I suspect that you're referring to right leaning peers.

    February 25, 2014 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
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