In a White House ceremony today, former first lady Laura Bush's official portrait was unveiled along with that of her husband, former President George W. Bush.
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Like the official presidential portraits, first lady portraits are a tradition dating back to the 18th century in the United States.
The White House provided the following background information on Mrs. Bush's portrait, painted by John Howard Sanden:
For the setting of her portrait, First Lady Laura Bush selected the Green Room, as refurbished with her active participation in 2007. Wearing a midnight blue gown, she rests her left hand on a lyreback armchair attributed to the famous New York cabinetmaker, Duncan Phyfe, c.1810. Federal easy chairs, among antique American furniture added to the room in 1971-72, were reupholstered in a rich salmon-colored silk. The 1767 David Martin portrait of Benjamin Franklin hangs over the neoclassical mantel, acquired for the White House in 1818.
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