Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Governors on canvas

Today it was 110 degrees farighenheight (that's about 44C to the rest of the world)... now it is nearly 8pm and it is 103F (39C)... but it was my day off and one of the few that I didn't need to be tending to business in Berkeley or Carmel so I went out and saw the sights in Sacramento anyway. I went to see the state Capitol building, I went to the Crocker Art Museum and barely saw old Sacramento before fearing that I would burst into flames and made my way back to the hotel on a heated walk (or is that wok) that seamed to take three times longer than the way there. More Blogs of my walk today are forthcoming but I thought I would start with the Governor's portraits I saw today in the State Capitol.
It is the tradition for California governors to have their portrait painted as they leave office. For the most part this one of governor George Dukmejian is typical of them. They're realistic portraits of men in suits with conservative lawyer-esque backgrounds or sometimes a simple black scumble. Usually tasteful and very finely crafted, but not really interesting art. I couldn't find any info on the painters so I suppose that is the point.

I did like that Grey Davis had his portrait done with a background of California poppies and the coast line. For those who don't know; he was actually ousted from office because of the State's anger over California's budget woes... no matter what his record as a whole reflects, he was a good environmentalist and therefore not so bad in my book.

Now although I don't have a lot of knowledge about the gammut of California governors... I have a favorite based on his portrait. Governor Edmund "Jerry" Brown was the only governor of the state (that's out of 38 men) to have a non-realistic portrait done. with further research I learned that he also refused to live in the fancy governor's mansion or ride in the governor's limo because of his deep convictions for social equality... Yay Jerry Brown!

...turns out this is the same Jerry Brown who served as in the mayor of Oakland up to 2006 and is currently the Attorney General of California... oh! That Jerry Brown! Yea, he's cool.
Don't you have to like a man (a politician nonetheless) who would get a portrait like this?

No comments: