The White House has restored the official portraits of former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton to a traditional display spot after they were moved to a less prominent location last year, a Biden administration official said.
In July, under President Donald J. Trump, the portraits were moved to the Old Family Dining Room, a smaller dining room off the State Dining Room that is less frequented by visitors, and replaced with portraits of Republican presidents, CNN reported.
The portraits of Mr. Bush and Mr. Clinton were returned to their traditional locations in the Cross Hall on Inauguration Day by the Office of the Curator, according to a White House official who was not authorized to speak publicly about the decision. The Cross Hall runs between the State Dining Room and the East Room.
The portrait of Mr. Clinton, painted by Simmie Knox, was unveiled in 2004, according to the White House Historical Association. The portrait of Mr. Bush, painted by John Howard Sanden, was unveiled in 2012. Mr. Bush is portrayed standing in the Oval Office with W.H.D. Koerner’s “A Charge to Keep,” one of his favorite paintings, in the background, the association said.
Incoming presidents traditionally redecorate and personalize the White House when they take office. When he arrived in January, President Biden removed the portrait of Andrew Jackson that had hung in the Oval Office during Mr. Trump’s tenure and installed portraits of former Presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Thomas Jefferson, as well as Benjamin Franklin and Alexander Hamilton, according to The Washington Post.
Portraits of former presidents are displayed throughout the White House, including in the East Room, the Blue Room, the Green Room and the State Dining Room.
Usually the portraits of the two most recent presidents hang on either side of the Grand Foyer, also known as the entrance hall, but that hasn’t always been the case. Mr. Clinton opted for John F. Kennedy’s portrait, rather than Ronald Reagan’s, to hang on the left side of the entrance hall, with the portrait of Mr. Reagan’s successor, George H.W. Bush, on the right.
The White House usually hosts an unveiling ceremony in the East Room for new portraits of former presidents, a tradition that has been in place since Jimmy Carter’s presidency — though Mr. Carter did not have a ceremony for his own portrait, according to the White House Historical Association. The most recent unveiling was in 2012, when President Barack Obama unveiled the portraits of George W. Bush and Laura Bush, former first lady.
Mr. Obama’s official portrait has not yet been revealed.
The portraits of Mr. Clinton and Mr. Bush, as with many others on display at the White House, were gifts of the White House Historical Association.
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