Presidential portraits

Witte Museum showcases George W. Bush's paintings in special exhibition

Witte Museum showcases George W. Bush's paintings in special show

George W. Bush at Living Legend Luncheon
Since leaving office, President George W. Bush has taken up painting. Photo by Grant Miller Photography
George W. Bush painting
One of the portraits on display. Courtesy of Witte Museum
George W. Bush at Living Legend Luncheon
George W. Bush painting

Since leaving office in 2009, former President George W. Bush has spent much of that time painting, specifically creating portraits of U.S. service members. Beginning July 21, visitors to the Witte Museum will have the opportunity to view his artwork as part of the special exhibition, "Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors."

On display will be 66 portraits and a four-panel mural depicting service members and first responders who served in the wake of the terrorist attacks on 9/11. A biographical story written by Bush about the portrait's subject will accompany every piece.

In returning to civilian life, the former commander in chief has dedicated his work to service members, both personally and with the Bush Institute’s Military Service Initiative. “I painted these men and women as a way to honor their service to the country and to show my respect for their sacrifice and courage,” said President Bush in a statement. 

The Witte show runs through September 30, and is one of only four museums who will display the artwork this year. San Antonio was selected not only for its Tricentennial celebration, but in honor of Alamo City's long history of military service. “As Military City, USA, San Antonio is the perfect place to display these portraits of patriotic American heroes,” said Mayor Ron Nirenberg in a release. “This exhibition will be an important addition to our Tricentennial celebration, and it will highlight on a national stage the amazing improvements at the Witte Museum."

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"Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors" is on display from July 21 through September 30. For more information, visit the Witte Musem