June 17, 2004

Full Week for Bill

This week has been marked by the return of Bill Clinton with the unveiling of the double portrait of he and Hillary in the White House, and the glowing speech by Mr. Bush about the Clintons. Mr. Clinton has also begin a promotional blitz for his autobiography, My Life which is to be published June 22, 2004. He will appear on 60 Minutes, Oprah, The Today Show, and Good Morning. America during the up coming week.*1

Simmie Knox

As an artist, I’m most interested in the fact that the official Clinton portraits were created by Simmie Knox. Knox is the first black artist to paint an official portrait of a president. Born in Aliceville, Alabama, the son of a sharecropper in 1935, Knox is self taught and has painted portraits of well known celebrities such as Bill Cosby and Hank Aaron. The Clinton’s chose Knox because they liked his painting of Clinton appointee to the Supreme Court, Ruth Bader Ginsberg. The portraits themselves are extremely well drawn and painted, and fit the genre, paintings of US presidents, beautifully. 3

  • *1 “Booksellers Bank on My Life,” USA Today.com, Posted June, 4, 2004 and updated June 9, 2004 (viewed June, 15, 2004, 10:40 A.M. EDT)

    *2 “Simmie Knox to Paint Former University President,” University Update Homepage, The University of Albany, “http://www.albany.edu/pr/updates/feb13/table.htm (viewed June 15, 2004, 10:52 A.M. EDT)

    *3 “Officeal portraits first for White House by a black artist,” SFGate.com, AP Breaking News, PDT Washington, June 14, 2004 (viewed June 15, 2004, 10:57 A.M. EDT)


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