Presidential Portraits of my Lifetime

We took a long-awaited trip to Washington, D.C.! It was filled with art, art, and more art, along with magnificent monuments, museums and history.

U.S. Capitol Building, Washington D.C.
U.S. Capitol Building, Washington D.C.

Visiting our nation’s capital gave me new appreciation for our country’s history.

But the most amazing thing was the art. I’ve read about the National Gallery of Art, but nothing compares to seeing the paintings with my own eyes. And the National Portrait Gallery. Oh my. I can’t describe how impressive it was–and I’ve even been to the The Louvre.

I’ve always loved portraits, fancying myself a portrait artist. But that takes incredible dedication. Instead, I admire other artists’ portraits. The Presidential Portrait Gallery was incredible. Many of the portraits were larger than life. In addition, we saw portraits of first ladies, and the unfinished portrait of George Washington that is on one dollar bills.

Official U.S. Presidential Portraits ~ during my lifetime

Below are the official portraits of the U.S. presidents who have served during my lifetime. No fair guessing my age! Also, here’s my Flickr photo album of my trip (including the below portraits). 

Note: This post was done in 2014, but I updated it in 2018 to include the portrait of Barack Obama. I did not see this magnificent portrait on my trip–because it hadn’t been painted yet!

Barack Obama: 2009 – 2017

by Kehinde Wiley

By Kehinde Wiley (National Portrait Gallery (United States)) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

George W. Bush: 2001 – 2009
by Robert Anderson
Presidential Portrait: George W. Bush, NPGBill Clinton: 1993 – 2001
by Chuck Close
Presidential Portrait: Bill Clinton, NPGGeorge H. W. Bush: 1989 – 1993
by Ron Sherr
Presidential Portrait: George H. W. Bush, NPGRonald Reagan: 1981 – 1989
by Henri C. Casselli Jr.
Presidential Portrait: Ronald Reagan, NPGJimmy Carter: 1977 – 1981
by Robert Templeton
Presidential Portrait: Jimmy Carter, NPGGerald R. Ford: 1974 – 1977
by Everett Raymond Kinstler
Presidential Portrait: Gerald Ford, NPGRichard M. Nixon: 1969 – 1974
by Norman Rockwell
Presidential Portrait: Richard Nixon, NPGLyndon B. Johnson: 1963 – 1969
by Peter Hurd
Presidential Portrait: Lyndon B. Johnson, NPGJohn F. Kennedy: 1961 – 1963
by Elaine deKooning
Presidential Portrait: Robert F. Kennedy, NPGDwight D. Eisenhower: 1953 – 1961
by Thomas Edgar Stephens

Note: I saw this painting at the NPG and took this photo, but I can no longer find any reference to it online.
Presidential Portrait: Dwight D. Eisenhower, NPG