Thursday, June 1, 2017


It was reported that "12 noted artists" refused to paint the official White House portrait of the current resident of the White House.  My brother commented, "Too bad Peter Hurd is dead, he would have done a masterly job!" 

I was reminded of LBJ's acerbic quote when he viewed his first official White House portrait: "That's the ugliest thing I ever saw."  LBJ refused to have the portrait displayed in the White House;  the portrait is now housed at The National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C.

Peter Hurd was the artist who painted that "famous/infamous" portrait.  Hurd was an accomplished American landscape and portrait painter, working mainly with subjects of the American Southwest. Hurd studied with N.C. Wyeth, along with fellow students Andrew Wyeth and Andrew's sister Henriette Wyeth. Hurd and Henriette married,

Among the artists who have refused the commission to paint the portrait of the current White House occupant are:  Liza McHenry, who painted both the official White House portraits of George W. Bush and Barack Obama and Gregory Buchman, who painted Ronald Reagan's official portrait.  In a letter, Buchman wrote:

Dear Sirs or Madams:

It is with no regret at all that I turn down your offer to paint Donald Trump to look formidable, respectable, and credible on the walls of the White House for future generations.  It is not possible for me or any other artist with integrity, to paint this con man, buffoon,and utter impostor in a way that would appear intelligent, wise, magnanimous, erudite, courageous, stable, responsible, principled, or leaderly.

He is none of those things.

I will not dishonor my fellow artists, bamboozle the American public, or deceive history by painting him to look as if he ever had the qualities to be the President of The United States, even if I could.  As an alternative, I might suggest you locate one of those $5 caricature artists on the sidewalks of New York and get them to do a clownish likeness of this presidential pretender, an astoundingly criminal, albeit horribly, dangerous commander-in-chief.

Yours respectfully,
Gregory Buchman
Not--Your--Shill Artist

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