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National Portrait Gallery Installs Photo Of President-Elect Trump
npr.org ^ | January 13, 2017 | Becky Harlan

Posted on 01/16/2017 1:42:56 AM PST by cpforlife.org

A 1989 photograph of Donald Trump tossing a red apple was installed today at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. The museum is known for having one of two complete collections of presidential portraits, the other belonging to the White House. This portrait of President-elect Donald Trump, however, isn't one of those official presidential portraits.

The image by photographer Michael O'Brien became part of the museum's collection in 2011 as a gift from Bill and Sally Wittliff, along with 16 other portraits taken by O'Brien. While it wasn't known at the time that the photograph would one day represent a president, acquiring the piece helped the museum get ahead in one of its common practices. "We acquire pictures of the presidents before they become president — we have pictures of Andrew Jackson when he was a general — or of presidents when they are in the private sector. It's part of our coverage of the news and the contemporary history of the United States," David Ward, senior historian at the museum, said in an NPR Facebook Live interview today.

Trump's official presidential portrait won't begin to take shape until later. "Toward the end of the presidential term we work with the White House, and they work with an artist to commission an official portrait." Ward explained. "It tends to be an oil painting, it tends to be large, it tends to be expensive, it tends to be more monumental."

This photograph has led many lives, nearly disappearing into obscurity. In 1989, Trump posed for O'Brien, who was on assignment for a Fortune magazine story on American billionaires.

From the beginning, O'Brien knew he wanted to place Trump against a backdrop of a bright blue sky and cotton ball clouds, a sky he says was inspired by the surrealist painter Rene Magritte. The apple was a last-minute addition, he told NPR. "On the day of the shoot I thought, 'It needs some type of action, something unexpected but telling.' Bingo! A big red apple popped into my head ... It was sort of subconscious the apple. It was sparked by a color scheme, and I later realized it was symbolic of New York."

When the image was published for its original purpose in the Sept. 11, 1989 issue of Fortune, O'Brien was disappointed. "I was heartbroken; a good shot has gone to waste," he said. "That issue along with the newspaper and magazines goes out with the kitty litter." But about a year later, Random House asked O'Brien for the rights to use the image for the cover of Trump's autobiography Trump: Surviving at the Top. Over 20 years after that, the image was acquired by the museum.

Today the portrait hangs under wall text that reads "2017 Inauguration, Donald J. Trump."

When asked about having his picture represent the next president, O'Brien said, "It's pretty wild. I'm surprised. It was like a picture lost behind a stove, and now it's repurposed."

The Trump photograph will be on view through February 26, 2017.

Correction Jan. 14, 2017

A previous version of this story incorrectly identified the senior historian of the National Portrait Gallery. His name is David Ward.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government
KEYWORDS: handsome; hunk; maga; portrait; trump
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Comment #1 Removed by Moderator

Comment #2 Removed by Moderator

To: cpforlife.org

A Very handsome young Trump.


3 posted on 01/16/2017 1:49:18 AM PST by Beautiful_Gracious_Skies ('45 will be the best ever)
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To: All

btw Article has a video w interview at gallery - fyi


4 posted on 01/16/2017 1:53:49 AM PST by cpforlife.org (A Catholic Respect Life Curriculum is available 4 FREE at CpForLife.org)
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To: cpforlife.org

In my building, there are official portraits of Obama and Biden and I’ve had the impulse over the past three years to fling catsup on them or worse but there are cameras everywhere and I won’t give liberals the satisfaction of catching an Obama-hater lurking amongst them. But just wait until the Trump and Pence portraits are hung. There a betting pool already about how long it will be before some commielib vandalizes them.


5 posted on 01/16/2017 2:38:05 AM PST by OrangeHoof (Get used to it - President Donald J. Trump)
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To: cpforlife.org

I like it! That’s the can-do attitude Donald brings to the White House. And I like this particular article, as compared to the nasty piece that Drudge has up from the Washington Compost with a lot of negative comments and very few positive ones, for example a refugee from Russia talking doom and gloom. Mr. Trump, put those in the press who treat you this way in the back row of your press briefings. Those people won’t give up, they’ll kick a roadside dog till it dies.


6 posted on 01/16/2017 2:42:10 AM PST by Ciexyz (After eight years of Obama, I can't afford to buy nothin'.)
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To: Ciexyz
I like it, too.

The man has had an interesting life. But what still is most noticeable is the elegance and charm of ALL his children and Melania....and even his exs. Everyone is a class act.

I think you can tell that Donald is not about money itself but the hard work that goes into accumulating wealth and making your mark.

I think we're in for an interesting 8 years.

7 posted on 01/16/2017 3:21:31 AM PST by Sacajaweau
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To: cpforlife.org

Very handsome! Nice pic. :)


8 posted on 01/16/2017 3:21:53 AM PST by proud American in Canada (May God Bless the U.S.A. (Trump: I will bear the slings and arrows for you, the American people))
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To: cpforlife.org

That picture of Andrew Jackson must be one of the first pictures ever taken.

I read that the first picture ever taken with a person in it was taken a year after Jackson’s death.


9 posted on 01/16/2017 3:41:57 AM PST by Radix (Natural Born Citizens have Citizen parents)
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To: cpforlife.org
That picture made me think of this painting for some reason:


10 posted on 01/16/2017 3:49:13 AM PST by Fresh Wind (Hillary: Go to jail. Go directly to jail. Do not pass GO. Do not collect 2 billion dollars.)
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To: Fresh Wind

Well, it does say in the article he was inspired by Magritte.


11 posted on 01/16/2017 4:18:44 AM PST by Pravious
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To: cpforlife.org

He looks like a magician levitating an apple.


12 posted on 01/16/2017 4:30:46 AM PST by \/\/ayne (I regret that I have but one subscription cancellation notice to give to my local newspaper.)
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To: Radix
That picture of Andrew Jackson must be one of the first pictures ever taken.

I read that the first picture ever taken with a person in it was taken a year after Jackson’s death.


It's a painting.


13 posted on 01/16/2017 4:36:08 AM PST by \/\/ayne (I regret that I have but one subscription cancellation notice to give to my local newspaper.)
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To: OrangeHoof

” But just wait until the Trump and Pence portraits are hung. There a betting pool already about how long it will be before some commielib vandalizes them.”

I imagine much wailing and gnashing of teeth from the commielibs — ha ha GOOD!


14 posted on 01/16/2017 4:53:09 AM PST by cpforlife.org (A Catholic Respect Life Curriculum is available 4 FREE at CpForLife.org)
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To: Ciexyz

Agreed! w Compost is lower than scum. Bad press keep in back row or worse. Make em miserable. They’ve made us miserable since forever.

MAGA!


15 posted on 01/16/2017 4:58:13 AM PST by cpforlife.org (A Catholic Respect Life Curriculum is available 4 FREE at CpForLife.org)
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To: \/\/ayne

And we may find out that he IS a magician.

New ad...Watch as TRUMP cuts DC in half on live TV!


16 posted on 01/16/2017 5:03:33 AM PST by cpforlife.org (A Catholic Respect Life Curriculum is available 4 FREE at CpForLife.org)
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To: Fresh Wind

That’s the painting to which the photographer was referring: “The Son of Man” by René Magritte. It’s a self-portrait, and was part of a series.


17 posted on 01/16/2017 5:39:43 AM PST by Sisku Hanne (All you have to do is the next right thing.)
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To: Sisku Hanne; Pravious

I always post before I read, it’s a Free Republic tradition!


18 posted on 01/16/2017 5:54:44 AM PST by Fresh Wind (Hillary: Go to jail. Go directly to jail. Do not pass GO. Do not collect 2 billion dollars.)
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To: cpforlife.org
...the other belonging to the White House.

Nothing "belongs" to the White House!

It all belongs to us, the people of these United States!

The damned Clintons had a hard time understanding that and I suspect the current occupant thinks the same.

I'm glad that Trump has enough money to buy what he wants...that will keep him from stealing half of OUR property when he leaves it...as opposed to some other sticky-fingered grifters and frauds that have been there.

19 posted on 01/16/2017 6:00:37 AM PST by OldSmaj (The only thing washed on a filthy liberal is their damned brains.)
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To: cpforlife.org

What are they talking about? I have a complete collection of Presidential portraits. It’s a placemat that I got from the local diner. Don’t mind the gravy stain covering the current resident, it looks great on my wall.


20 posted on 01/16/2017 6:02:56 AM PST by cyclotic (Republicans Are without excuse. Flood the Resolute Desk with sane legislation.)
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