Donald, Melania Trump Make Debut At The National Portrait Gallery: Report

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Donald Trump and his wife Melania left Washington to spend Christmas in Florida, after his shock rejection of a massive coronavirus relief package passed by Congress
Donald Trump and his wife Melania left Washington to spend Christmas in Florida, after his shock rejection of a massive coronavirus relief package passed by Congress AFP / SAUL LOEB

Donald Trump and Melania Trump have just joined the former presidents and former first ladies featured at the National Portrait Gallery, according to a report.

Trump and Melania joined the past presidents and first ladies when their portraits were placed in the National Portrait Gallery Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. Many saw their photos when the museum reopened for visitors Friday.

Trump's photo is found in the presidential portraits exhibit on the opposite side of a freestanding wall where ex-POTUS Barack Obama's famous "Hope" post is hanging, Daily Mail reported. It was quietly put up while the gallery was closed due to the pandemic restrictions, the outlet added.

In the picture, Trump is seated behind the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office. His chair is partly turned away from the desk suggesting that he is about to rise. His look conveys the impression of authority and aptitude with his eye narrowed and lips pursed.

The picture was taken by Pari Dukovic for Time magazine in June 2019, a day before he announced that he was running for re-election. The photograph will likely be switched out with a formal portrait next year, the report added.

The caption indicated that Trump was elected "after tapping into populist American sentiment" and as he "put forth an 'America First' agenda." It also mentioned his two impeachments and how the coronavirus pandemic "became a key issue during his re-election campaign."

Meanwhile, an image of Melania was also added to the first ladies' portraits exhibit. In the picture, the ex-FLOTUS posed with her arms crossed and a serious look on her face.

Smithsonian Institution spokesperson Brendan Kelly said they approached the Trumps and a traditional portrait with oil paint on canvas is "currently moving forward."

"We approached the president and Mrs. Trump after the 2020 election and are currently in conversations with them," Kelly told Yahoo News.

Paul Staiti, an expert on presidential portraits who teaches at Mount Holyoke College and has authored "Of Arms and Artists," a book about how painters saw the American Revolution, found Trump's look in the portrait "pallid and grim." He said that the new image of the former president for the museum would be better because the ex-POTUS would have more control over it.

"I imagine the upcoming official portrait painting, however, will likely be grandiose. Trump will have lots of control; it will be his vision of himself. I am expecting something large, flattering and shiny," he added.


Donald Trump and Melania Trump
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 23: President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump walk on the south lawn of the White House on December 23, 2020 in Washington, DC. The Trumps are headed to Mar-a-Lago for the holidays with a government shutdown possible on Monday December 28. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
Photo: Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

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