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Presidential Portraits

Portrait artists have captured the image and personality of presidents and first ladies throughout history, providing a record of their time in the White House and highlighting their accomplishments and leadership. Unlike today, it wasn’t always tradition to commission, or order the creation of, a portrait for the president and first lady. Each portrait comes with a unique story, from the symbolism in the portrait to the artist who painted it. Learn more about the history of these portraits, how the White House began to collect them, and the stories they tell.