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Portraits of Immigrants from President Bush

June 4th, 2021 · No Comments · Uncategorized

Many ex-presidents have crossed the rubicon from being pilloried or ridiculed in the media to being respected elder statesmen. Richard Nixon managed to rehabilitate his image by the end of his life to be recognized as a foreign policy thought leader. Jimmy Carter left office ignominiously but is recognized today for his humble charity work.

When George W. Bush left office, he turn, of all things, to oil painting. Lot of people ridiculed his efforts, calling them amateurish and pedestrian. But then, strangely enough, the art world started to take notice. Through these “childish” paintings, somehow he managed to evoke the deeper essence of his subjects.

In 2017, he published a book called “Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors” that shared paintings and stories of military veterans. This year, he followed that up with “Out of Many, One: Portraits of America’s Immigrants“. He stays well of politics (even to the point of delaying the publication of this book until it was well after the presidential elections), and created this book of paintings and stories of some of America’s most inspirational and successful immigrant stories.

While the news media seems intent on separating us and politicians on all sides seem intent on using immigrants as pawns in in their never-ending chess match, President Bush’s book is a wonderful attempt to bring us together by reminding us that every one of us immigrated from somewhere else, and it’s immigration that’s the lifeblood of this country. One need look no further than the glowing Amazon reviews from both the left and the right celebrating this book.

Proceeds from this book are being donated to organizations that help legal immigrants, as well as to the Bush Institute’s work on immigration.


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