President Trump surprised the first White House tour group since he took office, popping out from behind a partition as they admired Hillary Clinton’s First Lady portrait.
From Daily Mail
The group had come to a stop in the Cross Hall of the East Wing when he appeared suddenly, sparking loud applause and cheers from the shocked crowd.
He beckoned children in the group to come forward for a photograph but only one took him up on the offer, 10-year-old Jack Cornish from Birmingham, Alabama.
The pair posed for photographs and shared a tender hug beneath the portrait which Clinton received in 2004, three years after her husband left office.
The portrait was completed by Simmie Knox, the first African American artist commissioned for a presidential portrait, in 2003, as part of a set. The other is of her husband, former president Bill Clinton.
George W. and Laura Bush presented them to the Clintons at a White House ceremony in 2004.
It won a prominent spot among The Obamas’ Christmas decorations last year, standing between two snowmen.
The White House has been closed for tours since the president’s inauguration but resumed them on Tuesday.
The group had come to a stop behind a velvet rope just before the portrait shortly after 9.30am when the president appeared. He walked out from behind it to present himself to the stunned group which burst into applause.
Hillary Clinton’s First Lady portrait was completed by artist Simmie Knox in 2003.
It was unveiled in the White House East Room in 2004 at a ceremony conducted by the then president, George W. Bush.
The oil on linen painting forms a pair, the other being of Clinton’s husband, former president Bill. It is 48 x 36 inches. She wears a black pantsuit, gold necklace and gold earrings and is depicted leaning on a wooden table and chair.
Resting on the table is a White House china plate and her 200 Book, An Invitation To The White House: At Home with History.
Knox is the first African American artist to have been commissioned to produce presidential portraits. He signed the portrait subtly beneath the table ledge.
On Tuesday, he told DailyMail.com how he approached the Clinton administration while Bill was still in office to ask to be considered by its curator to paint the couple.
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