BONUS: Portraying The Presidents


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The House committee investigation into the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol has generated a lot of interest in one of the National Portrait Gallery’s latest commissions -- an official portrait of former President Donald Trump. So we decided to revisit an episode that takes a spin through the ‘America’s Presidents’ exhibition.

Director Kim Sajet digs into the thorny question of what a presidential portrait is meant to convey, especially if the president in question has been impeached. Should it carry the glow of prestige, or the markers of personal failings? Is this gallery hallowed ground, or a place to question power? "If you're in the business of showing these paintings," says Washington Post art critic Philip Kennicott, "you want to send people out a little hungry."

Also featuring former deputy director Carolyn Carr.

See the portraits we discuss here:

President James Buchanan

President Richard Nixon

President George H. W. Bush

President Bill Clinton

President George W. Bush

President Barack Obama

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