DALLAS — George W. Bush, the painter, will soon have his first gallery showing.
Starting in early April, the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum will open “The Art of Leadership: A President’s Personal Diplomacy.” The exhibit will focus on foreign policy and Bush’s relationships with world leaders, according to a news release.
Two dozen never-before-exhibited portraits painted by Bush will be the highlight.
The paintings Bush has created — depicting dogs, landscapes and himself in the shower — were leaked online last year thanks to a hacker who later was arrested. In November, bowing to growing public interest, the former president touted his artwork to Jay Leno during an appearance on NBC’s “The Tonight Show.”
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The former president, who signs his work “43,” took up painting after reading “Painting as a Pastime,” by Winston Churchill. Bush now paints regularly and takes lessons from Gail Norfleet, a Dallas artist. The former president told The Dallas Morning News last April that he takes “great delight in busting stereotypes.”
“People are surprised,” he said. “Of course, some people are surprised I can even read.”
Only a handful of Bush’s work has been shown to the public. That includes a painting of Barney, his Scottish terrier that died last year, and a rendering of a cardinal, replicas of which were sold at the library’s gift store last year as a Christmas ornament.