From Norman Rockwell and Currier & Ives to Haddon Sundblom's Coca-Cola Santa, the Christmas holiday has a long tradition of producing art and images that shape our views of the most wonderful time of the year.
In 2013, a new name is entering the mix for the first time, a fact that's notable primarily because this particular artist also served as the 43rd president of the United States. Indeed, George W. Bush, who spent eight years as the nation's chief executive, has taken to the canvas since leaving the White House, and this year, you'll have the opportunity to own a recreation of some of his artwork.
The George W. Bush Presidential Center will be selling a limited-run Christmas ornament, priced at $29.98, featuring a painting of a cardinal that Bush created, according to The Dallas Morning News. A representative for the center said proceeds from the ornament sales will go to the Bush Center, which opened to the public earlier this year at Southern Methodist University.
Bush originally painted the red bird, perched atop a small branch and backed by greenery, for Warren Tichenor, a friend who served as an ambassador during his time in Washington, according to the report. Bush's wife, Laura, liked it so much she decided it should be on their Christmas card, as well as being made into an ornament, and so it has been.
In April, the Morning News wrote about the former president's new painting hobby, quoting him as saying that he took "great delight in busting stereotypes." Bush read "Painting as a Pastime" by former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and was receiving instruction from Dallas artist Gail Norfleet.
"I hope my painting meets expectations," Bush says. Hear more from the couple in the video below.
- Christmas ornament