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George W. Bush has painted Putin, Blair and others; he’ll give a sneak peek on Friday

- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 3, 2014

Former President George W. Bush will unveil 24 portraits of world leaders on Friday as part of his first art exhibit, the "Today" show said.

Mr. Bush, who took up painting after leaving the White House in 2009, will unveil his renditions of leaders like Tony Blair, Vladimir Putin and the Dalai Lama on the NBC program in a segment with his daughter, Jenna Bush Hager, who is a correspondent for the show.

"I think they're going to be (like), 'Wow, George Bush is a painter,' '' Mr. Bush said, according to a press release from NBC. "I'm sure when they heard I was painting, and if they had, they're going to say, 'Wow, I look forward to seeing a stick figure he painted of me.' "

"I hope they take it in the spirit in which these were painted in," he added. "That was the spirit of friendship and that I admire them as leaders and was willing to give it a shot in terms of getting people to see how I felt about them."

The 43rd president has also painted animals, landscapes and self-portraits.

His exhibit, "The Art of Leadership: A President's Personal Diplomacy," will be on display at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

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