Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery unveils new artwork of Trump for presidential collection

Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery unveils new artwork of Trump for presidential collection
Pari Dukovic for Time Magazine, 2019, NPG
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The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery has unveiled new artwork of former President Donald Trump that is to be displayed inside the museum when it reopens.

“Installed in the museum’s signature exhibition, ‘America’s Presidents,’ the portrait will hang in a space reserved for the nation’s most recent former president and will be a part of the permanent collections,” the Smithsonian Magazine reported. “The 2019 image of Trump is one of many captured by the award-winning photographer Pari Dukovic, while on assignment for Time magazine. Taken on June 17, after Trump officially announced his plans to run for reelection, the image depicts him perched at the edge of a maroon chair with one hand resting on the historic Resolute Desk in the Oval Office.”

Trump is seated behind the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office, with the flags of the then-five branches of the Armed Forces behind him, including the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard. The Space Force was later created by Trump during his tenure as President, and is is now the sixth branch of the Armed Forces. 

“Donald J. Trump was elected president of the United States after tapping into populist American sentiment,” states a summary next to his portrait.  “Having led a career in business and television, he created an identity that was anti-traditional government and put [forward] an ‘America First’ agenda. During his tenure, Trump appointed a record number of federal judges, including three Supreme Court Justices. He brokered the Abraham Accords, significantly restricted immigration, and reduced government regulations. In February 2020, the unemployment rate was a record low 3.5 percent.”

According to the Smithsonian Magazine:

“America’s Presidents” is home to the nation’s only complete collection of presidential portraits outside the White House, telling the story of American leadership and the challenges of office, highlighting historical eras from “Building the Presidency” to the “Contemporary Presidency.” Holding pride of place in the exhibition is the iconic Lansdowne Portrait of George Washington by the American artist Gilbert Stuart. Other prominent works include Elaine de Kooning’s portrait of John F. Kennedy, Norman Rockwell’s painting of Richard Nixon and Chuck Close’ quilt-like portrayal of Bill Clinton, an abstract painting that uses a grid system of visual images.

With each new U.S. President, the museum adds new portraits to its permanent exhibition.

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