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George W. Bush's artwork to to be shown publicly in April

Bush Institute Veterans

(Reuters) - George W. Bush, U.S. president turned painter, will have his artwork featured in an exhibit for the first time in April.

More than two dozen portraits painted by the 43rd U.S. president will be part of exhibit called "The Art of Leadership: A President's Personal Diplomacy," the George W. Bush Presidential Center said on Monday.

The center did not mention the subjects of the portraits.

Artifacts, photographs and personal reflections will also be part of the exhibit, which the center said will "provide an insider's view into President Bush's unique relationships with other world leaders." His works will be displayed at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas in early April.

After leaving the presidency in 2009, Bush picked up a brush and has painted still lifes, landscapes and images of animals, including a perched cardinal that the center featured on Christmas ornaments, and a tribute to Barney, his black Scottish terrier who died in 2013.

The portfolio includes self-portraits. In 2013, a hacker obtained Bush family emails that included a painting of the former president in the shower, looking at himself in a shaving mirror, and another of a pair of legs extended in a bathtub.

Bush, who lives in Dallas, took painting lessons after leaving the White House and told the Dallas Morning News his interest developed after reading former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill's 1948 book, "Painting as a Pastime."

"It's a way to create," Bush, who signs his paintings "43," told the newspaper. "I enjoy creating ... You can express yourself in a way that's unique."

(Reporting and writing by Bill Trott; Editing by Susan Heavey and Bernadette Baum)

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mvnup February 26 2014 at 5:12 PM

I miss Bush, my best income years had been under the Bush administration. If I earned today what I paid in taxes those years I would be doubling or tripling my income. By the way if I was paying that much in tax then obviously that was more for the social programs. Also True job creation is private jobs not public jobs.

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Steven R. Ross February 26 2014 at 3:28 PM

I always liked President Bush as a person, I didn't like a lot of his policies. I admire the fact that when he left, he stayed out of the bashing to President Obama. I think a majority of his problems came from his vice president.

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vheagle1 February 26 2014 at 2:11 PM

I agree with Richie!!!! He was the worst Presindent since Carter! God will judge him for all the brave soldiers that died in a senseless war! I don't know how he sleeps at night! Just my opinion!....

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Chris and Paul February 26 2014 at 2:45 PM

Yep... he was so bad that when he left office the unemployment rate in the US was 5.5% and during his presidency the avg monthly unemployment rate was 5.1%... He was so bad that when he left office a gallon of gasoline cost $1.88 on the average accross the country... fuel oil for heating our homes cost the consumer half of what we pay today... he was so bad that during his presidency millions of senior citizens who were unable to get needed prescriptions drugs and healthcare suddenly found it afffordable through the Medicare plans that his administration reconstructed.... He wasalso so bad that millions of people around the world who suffered from AIDS we able to get the medicine they needed to continue living thanks to the USA... Furthermore, he was so bad at Foreign Policy that other countreis actually WANTED to negotiate with the USA rather than laughing at us the way they are today. And to top all of that off.... he was so bad that he actually believed in negotiating with and working with the Congress to get things done... and he also was bad enough to go to the United Nations prior to making any decision to send troops anywhere.... God he was bad!

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tambrookbt February 26 2014 at 4:44 PM

Actually the unemployment rate when Bush entered office was 4%, when he left 8.1. Stating an average does not tell the whole story. As far as working with congress - Bush used his veto power 33%of the time that he was presented with bills - 3rd highest of an President. That is not working with congress that is overpowering them. Travel outside the US during his 8 years was not anything that you described - most people, unsolicited, spoke of how inept he was, conversly, traveling before and and the election the conversation was that the US finally got it right with Obama. Bush is the same president that made massive tax cuts for wealthy 3% which our congress with not overturn. The gas prices are not driven by the President but by demand and the oil cartels.

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neutralslamm February 26 2014 at 4:40 PM

blahahaha, the worst since Carter (a Democrat) you mean BO don't you who is also a........., need I say more?

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Vicki February 26 2014 at 1:10 PM

I wish he was still President. Than I would know we would have a President that loves this Country.
And he was honest and caring which does not make him weak. Putin would not of done to Bush what Putin did to Obama. No country messed with Bush. They new better. He is a man of conviction. Who told it like it was. Now Obama has screwed that up. Any progress Bush did in Iraq he ruined.

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pecakbill February 26 2014 at 1:17 PM

You are a VERY IGNORANT person.

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neutralslamm February 26 2014 at 4:50 PM

Ya, continue to suck you kingsazz while you suck as much of the tax payer govmint' checks he can give you.

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Charles February 26 2014 at 4:02 PM

YEP, AND HE WAS WHITE AND IN SO MANY POCKETS WE WILL NEVER KNOW. AND, HE HAD A CONGRESS THAT DID NOT SIT ON THEIR HANDS AND SAY"NO". The whole game changed when a black man kicked some political ass, beat the estalblishment twice, and would not be bought or controlled by the good ole boys. Funny you don't have a problem with over 200 members of the House holding this country hostage because they are bitter about losing, funny how you focus on the man and not the politics, you racist bigot *******.

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neutralslamm February 26 2014 at 4:47 PM

Ohhh ya, the black thing and white rich man thing while BO is "currently" giving billions of dollars to wall street and exempting large corporation from paying penalties on ACA while the small business person and the poor ARE NOT.

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mayr97 February 26 2014 at 12:56 PM

WOW as I read the hatred and spitting of these comments it just reinforces the current state of our country. GWB was a decent man who cared, was he perfect, by no means. But he did keep us safe and reinforced order in the world. We were feared and respected. American exceptionalism. Now the world is burning everywhere, nobody respects us, and BHB has created the most divisiveness in this country that I can remember in my lifetime. Obama gave us the IRS lies, Bengaze Coverup to get re-elected, NSA violations of privacy, imperialism in office. Man I for one can't wait for him to leave office and start to paint.

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Richie February 26 2014 at 12:37 PM

When will this country ever learn. I was around in the 60s when the Viet Nam war was on. I have seen our young men and women die and there caskets being carried on the news. It was a war that was lost and nothing at all was gained. Do the people learn, NOOOOOO we now are sending our children and grand children into battle that we have no idea what for other than the GREED of the higher ups. We stand by and let it happen time and again and we say nothing. It sickens me to see Bush painting pictures with his sickening smile when he has caused so many of our children to die and become disabled. Bush by no means stands alone. We fight for people that are taking away our rights.
GOD help this great Country, Yes I said GOD, the maker of all. I have lost my faith in the so called leaders but will never lose my faith in Jesus, even though the higher ups are trying to take our faith away.

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Chris and Paul February 26 2014 at 12:48 PM

Too bad for you Richie.... It must be so hard for a person to embody such hatred. It also must be so difficult for you to understand those who may disagree with your viewpoints. I am sorry for you... You probably will never be a happy American.. And we have so much to be happy and thankful for that does not embody the dark elements of hatred. Dont see everyone's flaws while being blind to the good they do...Someone once told me to always look for the good in people because eveything is not true... and try to only speak words of kindness....Its a much better country than you give it credit for.. and thank God not everyone has such a negative vision of our leadership and our citizens!

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Paw Paw Slopoke February 26 2014 at 1:02 PM

You must some kind of nut! Our leaders have sold out this country. It used to be and still is the best. But everyday our debt continues to grow. WHY? Because your leaders can't get their heads out of their asses and create a budget, and stop spending money we DO NOT HAVE. We are going down hill so fast we will not survive if something is not done. You call God's name! Well, read his scriptures. There will always be wars and rumors of war. It is written. There will never be peace in the middle east. It is written. Look at yourself befor you critize Richie

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n3dnn February 26 2014 at 12:21 PM

Wow, some people can't see the forest because of the trees! Bush started these wars, made a mess of our economy and left it to the next president to fix. It didn't matter who the next president was, the damage was done. It left us in a position to continue what he started because of the extent of the damage. It will take many years to undo all the bad that was done. Why do you think Bush is the only president who after leaving office, has done nothing except hide and paint what are truely bad creations, only to be praised for his artistic talent? He has very little talent as I have seen childrens drawings that looked better than his, which look like poor paint by number garbage. Every other president has continued public service and have been active in getting real change in policy , both domestically and abroad. They work as hard or harder than when they were in the presidency. Bush has done nothing but hide and selfishly indulge in his own whims, none of which have done any good for anyone except himself. He is and will always be one of the worst presidents this country has ever had. Put your political beliefs aside and look at the facts. As time goes by, people forget all the bad and only seem to remember the few good things that he has done. Very few. It is like an abusive relationship, where the abuse is tolerated and swept under the rug while only recalling the good, even when there is very little good. He is selfish and child like in his seeking approval for his "art", because he cannot get approval for anything else he has done. Keep hiding because there are plenty of people who would like nothing more than to see something bad happen to you. You are a disgrace. You did more harm to this country and only made the world hate this country and its people more than anyone ever has. Mission Accomplished! Indeed. There is a lesson to be learned here. The American people need to quit making stupid people famous, they are on our TV's, and in every aspect of politics. Stupid people do not make for good entertainment and certainly do not make good government.

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ghump92831 February 26 2014 at 12:20 PM

GWB was a far better president then the moron we have in office now. Under Obama the middle east is falling to al quida and the very towns our troops liberated in Iraq are now under control of al quida.. Some how a lot of you Bush haters along with Obama seem to forget that we are at war with those who have nothing but time on their side and realize that America has far to many dopes who could care less. I am a Purple Heart veteran and understand like Bush the danger that awaits us without strong leadership.

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1 February 26 2014 at 1:17 PM

OH YES, at least he was an America, and not a liberal Communist from Africa......!!!!!!! Wake up America

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PatWard February 26 2014 at 12:15 PM

I can't recall another President so reviled in my many years (75). George Bush should have never been President. He is too honest, too caring, too spiritual, too generous, too gentle to take on the role of Washington Circus politics and Democrat major news media (who are the ones who really elect our Congress and offices, not we the people). The Electorial College is so overloaded wit political favor paybacks, deposed politicians, and family members and friends of friends, that it is hardly a trustworthy agency. I still think that voters should have to pass an intelligence test before bring allowed to vote. Look around you at the ignorance among the people....college students and graduates, minimum wage laborers with not marketable skills, religious zealots, political has-beens and wannabees. Those are the people who elected Barack Obama. God help America to survive. We are sinking into the mire fast. Don't even bother to reply to my comment. I will not come to this page again of Bush-bashing again. I see enough of that on the mainstream media.

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tambrookbt February 26 2014 at 12:11 PM

Please remember his last interview, before leaving office, with Martha Raddich when asked about his proudest moment and his reply was "getting the taliban out of Iraq" to which she replied "there were no taliban in Iraq when we invaded" his response after a verrrrry long wait was and a very petulant voice was "so.... so what?" Live interview, no editing and I am sure you could find it on youtube. He had the chance to pull the world together after September 11th - the outpouring of support for US was at it's peak but he managed to destroy that when we invaded Iraq to take out the taliban than didn't exist. The Iraq war was Cheney's Folly and the only people to gain anything was Haliburton which got the contract for the war without bidding. Trillions of dollars and countless lives lost because Cheney didn't get to destroy Iraq when he was in Bush seniors cabinet. I do think he probably has more depth and humanity than given credit for but he was not in charge of things - Cheney was a puppet master. It was a very unfortunate 8 years in which nothing was accomplished that benefitted this country - unemployment rose greatly, our debt got out of control and we were close to falling into another great depression. If my memory fails me, I am sorry, but these were the things that Obama inherited but did not create.

There have certainly been missteps in this administration but look at the numbers. Bush was allowed 8 years to ruin our economy - why is it that Obama is not allowed equal time to improve it. It is much easier to destroy something than it is to rebuild.

In the end we must judge a man by his accomplishments - that will be for future generations to decide. We have become a polarized nation politically and don't work for solutions, just don't let the other party win.

We need some grownups in office and we need a country of voters that are better informed.

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Vicki February 26 2014 at 12:38 PM

Will Obama has had at least 5 years to fix the economy and it is not very much better. So when do you quite blaming Bush and give Obama his due. Obama care has put more people with out insurance than helped and that was uninsured before Obama care was inacted. Maybe they should of read the bill before they passed it. He is the worse President ever. Not to mention the lie of the year award. Never trusted him never will. He is ruining this country. I agree we need voters more informed to vote. We would not have Obama to contend with.

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normde February 26 2014 at 1:11 PM

The last time the economy was this bad took about 20 years, (1929 -post WWII), and several administrations to correct. President Obama has done it better than any other.

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