New Delhi: Portraits of former US Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush have been shifted from the White House’s Grand Foyer in the executive entrance to a rarely used Old Family Dining Room, well out of prominent view.
In their previous spots are now displayed the portraits of two Republican presidents — William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt — who lived more than a century ago, reported CNN.
The Clinton and Bush portraits would earlier be visible to all visitors as well as to the current President Donald Trump when he would come down his private residence staircase for events on the State Floor of the White House. Now these portraits have been moved to the Old Family Dining Room, which is used largely as a storage space for unused linen and furniture.
The portraits were last seen in the Grand Foyer on 8 July, when Donald Trump hosted Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. CNN reported that in their place now hang portraits of William McKinley (US President from 1897 to 1901) and Theodore Roosevelt (served from 1901 to 1909). Traditionally, the most recent presidents’ portraits are placed in the more prominently visible spots.
While the White House has not yet issued a comment on the move, Trump has earlier openly criticised Clinton, who is also the husband of his 2016 rival Hillary Clinton, as a bad president.
CNN also reported that Trump’s former national security advisor John Bolton has documented Trump’s hatred for the two Bush presidents in his controversial book, The Room Where it Happened, which Trump tried, unsuccessfully, to block.
US Presidents have commissioned portraits of themselves to be hung in the White House entrance since George Washington. Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama’s portrait is not expected to be unveiled in Trump’s first term after he accused Obama of committing crimes.
The Old Family Dining Room where the Clinton-Bush portraits now stand was instituted by President John Quincy Adams and his wife, and renovated by former First Lady Michelle Obama in 2015. It features works by a number of artists, including Alma Thomas, a prominent Black painter. She was the first Black woman to have a permanent place in the White House collection, and the first to have a solo exhibition at New York’s renowned Whitney Museum.
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Furniture and fixtures will be rearranged in the White House in January 2021.
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