George W. Bush, painter, to get his first art exhibit


George W. Bush, artist.

The nation’s 43rd president will be showing off his new painting hobby at his presidential library in Dallas starting in April, library officials announced Tuesday.

The exhibit is called “The Art of Leadership: A President’s Personal Diplomacy,” and the show sounds as if it will feature paintings other than the ones Bush made depicting himself in the bathtub and in the shower, which a hacker obtained and blasted all over the Web last year.

“The exhibit will feature more than two dozen never-before-exhibited portraits painted by President Bush,” the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum said in its Tuesday announcement. “Portraits will be accompanied by artifacts, photographs, and personal reflections to help illustrate the stories of relationships formed on the world stage.”


Bush has stayed relatively quiet in retirement, but his nascent painting hobby got an unexpected dose of attention when a hacker named Guccifer obtained emails from Bush’s inner circle that contained the now-famous bathroom works.

After the works circulated widely on the Web, Bush appeared with Jay Leno on “The Tonight Show” to say, “I think I’m a painter” -- to much derision, given the works’ apparent simplicity.

Some art critics, however, praised the images of Bush’s leaked works, leading Los Angeles Times art critic Christopher Knight to scorn their appraisals as “mostly embarrassing, because no writer has yet laid eyes on anything more than a reproduction.”

Looks like that will change in April.

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