On the hanging of former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s official portrait

In the SF Chronicle, this morning, was an article with a second paragraph of All this raises a question about what may be the most anticipated ceremonial event yet to happen: the hanging of former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s official portrait. The  paragraph brought up all sorts of resonating thoughts starting with What? They are hanging Schwarzenegger? Oh, his portrait. and ending with He was a pretty good governor considering the circumstances. In between, among other thoughts such as the National Portrait Gallery being my favorite museum in Washington, I noticed that the paragraph was only one sentence long which I was taught not to do – I don’t know for sure but it must have been before the sixth grade – surly, the Chrony should know better.

Reading the short article – all articles are short in the Chrony – I noticed that Schwarzenegger’s picture was done by Gottfried Helnwein ( I used was because, apparently, the picture is already finished, if not hung, and done because the artist is a photographer and a water color and mixed media painter and I have no idea of the medium of this portrait). Gottfried Helnwein is not an artist that I know, but I feel I should after reading his Selected Collections page which includes the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the J. Paul Getty Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the de Young Museum, the State Russian Museum, and the Smithsonian Institution, among many, many, others. I also read that Schwarzenegger had a picture by Helnwein, in his Governor’s office, of the Mojave and he has a photograph? watercolor? of Death Valley on his website, so I am predisposed to like this guy already.

His portraits – as shown below -look to be even more interesting.

California does have a long – if very narrow – history of interesting Governor’s portraits including this Portrait of Jerry Brown as a Young Man (sorry).

It is possible that I have now joined the legions in Sacramento who agree that the hanging of former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s official portrait is one of the most anticipated ceremonial events yet to happen. OK, that may be overstating it, but I am curious. (Oh, the portrait at the top was done by Andrew Wyeth and Brown’s portrait was by California artist Don Bachardy).











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