Oil paintings mark moments in political history





COLUMBUS, Ohio — Artists often put oil to canvas at this time of year to render the official portrait of a governor or legislative leader who’s coming or going from office.

Oil paintings of American politicians go back to George Washington. It’s a tradition that’s been made largely immune to budget pressures thanks to private funding.

But the practice isn’t without its challenges. The commissioning and placement of the portraits — most consistently governors, but also legislators, justices and other statewide officials — can raise quirky questions.

What of the Ohio governor whose portrait probably took longer to paint than her 11-day tenure in office? Or the image of an Oregon governor whose past misdeeds were later revealed?...



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