George W. Bush to exhibit artwork at presidential library

BY Ellen Rolfes  February 25, 2014 at 1:34 PM EST
In an appearance on The Tonight Show, former President George W. Bush gifted Jay Leno with a portrait of the late night host. Photo by NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

In an appearance on The Tonight Show, former President George W. Bush gifted Jay Leno with a portrait of the late night host. Photo by NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

The George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas announced Monday that it plans to unveil in April more than two dozen never-before-displayed portraits painted by the 43rd U.S. president.

George W. Bush Presidential Center

Photo courtesy of George W. Bush Presidential Center

The press release announcing the exhibit, “The Art of Leadership: A President’s Personal Diplomacy,” made no mention of the subjects in the portraits, however they are likely to include several recognizable faces. The presidential center stated it hopes that visitors of the exhibit will walk away with “an insider’s view into President Bush’s unique relationships with other world leaders.”

President George W. Bush told Diane Sawyer in 2013, that he paints every day, a creative habit that was first inspired by Winston Churchill’s “Painting as a Pastime.”

“It’s a way to create,” Bush told the Dallas Morning News. “I enjoy creating … You can express yourself in a way that’s unique.”

New York magazine reported in 2012 that the former president’s paintings primarily featured arid Texas landscapes and portraits of dogs. Then in 2013, a hacker revealed he had intercepted images of self-portraits of Bush in the shower and in a bathtub.