The latest addition to the White House is a painting called “The Republican Club,” by artist Andy Thomas which depicts President Donald Trump hanging out with Republican presidents of the past. The painting shows Trump seated between Presidents Eisenhower and Nixon, directly across from Abraham Lincoln. Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan. Both Bushes are also shown.
The painting could be seen in the background of a photo tweeted by 60 Minutes, which aired an interview with Trump last night.
Now on 60 Minutes: There's less than a month until the mid-term elections. Hear what President Trump has to say about some of the issues that will likely be motivating voters at the ballot. pic.twitter.com/4WYnh3t0hy
— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) October 14, 2018
An eagle-eyed Twitter user spotted it and raised the alarm:
oh my god, it's hanging in the white house pic.twitter.com/wrq8eo7Bvx
— Josh Billinson (@jbillinson) October 15, 2018
It is the latest in a series by Thomas that depicts past presidents from each party hanging out together. The artwork has been criticized by amateur artists who view it as a tacky, even kitschy addition to the White House decor.
They sell these paintings in DC; I have seen versions at a Georgetown kitsch gallery, including the same but of Democratic presidents. Still, amazing Trump can get world-class paintings on loan from federal museums in DC + this is what he picks to display. https://t.co/ogY9J8rPdE
— Garance Franke-Ruta (@thegarance) October 15, 2018
This stupid painting in the White House is not at all how it would happen.
All of them would give Abraham Lincoln the honor of being first to punch trump in the face, then they’d line up for their turns. Except the Bushes. /1 pic.twitter.com/q2gK6iM3bE
— David Clarke (@davidclarke76) October 15, 2018
The great thing about this painting is they legit have no idea what policies Lincoln and Roosevelt advocated for.
And they cut a solid 60 pounds off Trump pic.twitter.com/ysKCVqnZxl
— clone (@clonedbefore) October 15, 2018
A painting putting trump in context of the mainstream of the Republican Party with all of them laughing is so remarkably on the nose it could pass for a leftist critique. https://t.co/wQGSGD22Bx
— An Isaac Butler Reboot (@parabasis) October 15, 2018
Disturbing thing #1 – Trump feels he is in a place of honor among all GOP presidents.
#2 – Trump was slimmed down
#3 – Painting looks like all are cozying up to crook Nixon.
#4 – Trumps hands enlarged.
#5 – Audacity to include #abrahamlincoln…yet only his back.
#6 – narcissism pic.twitter.com/PfgzqWPlHz
— Tina Peterson Pirlot (@TinaPirlot) October 15, 2018
Trump received the painting as a gift from Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA), whom Trump nominated to head the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, and who is a fan of Thomas’s work. (At one point, Issa even had a portrait of himself commissioned from Thomas.)
“He’s a really friendly guy and he said, ‘If I get a chance, I’m going to show this to Donald,’” Thomas said.
Then Trump saw the painting.
“He had actually given a [sic] me real gracious call to tell me how much he liked it,” Thomas said of Trump. “He was very complimentary. He made a comment that he’d seen a lot of paintings of himself and he rarely liked them.” He added: “You can’t imagine how happy that made me,” noting that he never expected to receive a thank you from the president himself.
Responding to criticisms about the painting, Thomas said that while this one is getting a lot of attention because of the 60 Minutes interview, his presidential art is bipartisan.
“I challenge people to look at the paintings and see if they can figure it out,” he said, declining to discuss his personal political views.