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Official portrait of Governor Andy Beshear unveiled during Capitol Rotunda ceremony

The Beshear family – Andy and wife Britainy and children Will and Lila – unveil the governor’s official portrait on Thursday in the Capital Rotunda. (Photo by Tom Latek, Kentucky Today)

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

The official portrait of Gov. Andy Beshear was unveiled during a ceremony in the State Capitol Rotunda Thursday.

“Today is a historical moment,” said Scott Alvey, executive director of the Kentucky Historical Society. “It’s not the culminating history that a lot of people think that we are about to tell, it’s just a snapshot of a story that continues to unfold.”

The official portrait of Gov. Andy Beshear was unveiled Thursday. (Photo by Tom Latek, Kentucky Today)

“The history of the official portrait in the Hall of Governors dates back to 1897, when Gov. William O. Bradley requested that the official portrait of the governors would be assembled in his office,” Alvey said. “In 1909, the Kentucky Historical Society authorized the commissioning of portraits for all the other governors we didn’t have collected yet.”

He said it wasn’t until the 1940s that the governors had to arrange for their own portrait.

Gov. Beshear pointed out that each portrait hangs inside the main entrance to the Capitol while its subject is on office. “It’s eventually placed in our beautiful Kentucky History Center in the Hall of Governors. I’m pretty excited, because when I am done as governor, this portrait is going to hang right next to my dad. It’s pretty special.”

He said he felt strange standing by the portrait, because he’s used to looking at himself in the mirror maybe once a day. “But thankfully, Britainy pretty much ran the process. I want to thank her for the time she put in, for the effort at making sure this isn’t just a portrait of me, that it truly represents the time that we have lived in, the adversity that we have overcome, the hope and optimism that is in front of us, the kindness and compassion that I hope we collectively have governed with, during some of the toughest times.”

Beshear also had a message to his two children, Will and Lila: “I’ll bet all you wanted to do today was look at a giant painting of me.”

In the portrait, Beshear is standing in front of the steps at the outside of the Rotunda. The artist, Melanie Hardin Bates, said the first set of steps embody the accomplishments of the Beshear administration, while the steps leading up to the left represent the path to the future.

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