Witte Museum to Host Exhibit of Paintings by President George W. Bush

Special exhibit includes nearly 100 of the former President's portraits and stories of America's post-9/11 warriors. The exhibition will be presented by the Zachry Group.

Michael R. Rodriguez

The Witte Museum proudly announced today that it will host "Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors", a special exhibit from the George W. Bush Presidential Center. Growing out of President George W. Bush’s personal commitment and the ongoing work of the Bush Institute’s Military Service Initiative, "Portraits of Courage" brings together sixty-six full-color portraits and a four-panel mural painted by President Bush of 98 service members and veterans who have served our nation with honor since 9/11, and whom the President has come to know personally since leaving office.

Thanks to the generous sponsorship from Zachry Group, San Antonio is one of just four venues nationwide to host the paintings this year. Portraits of Courage will be on display from July 21 through September 30, 2018, at the Witte Museum.

I painted these men and women as a way to honor their service to the country and to show my respect for their sacrifice and courage, ... I'll never stop working to help our military, their families, and our veterans, and I'm grateful to Zachry Group for supporting that mission.

George W. Bush, former President, creator of "Portraits of Courage"

"We are honored to make this gift as an expression of our commitment to service members and veterans and the work of the Bush Institute’s Military Service Initiative," said John B. Zachry, chairman and chief executive officer, Zachry Group. "We are proud of the rich history of military service and sacrifice here in our San Antonio community.”

Each featured painting is accompanied by the inspiring story of the warrior depicted, written by President Bush. Visitors will encounter the faces and the hearts of those who answered the nation’s call and learn of their bravery on the battlefield, their journey to recovery and the continued leadership and contribution they make as civilians.

“I painted these men and women as a way to honor their service to the country and to show my respect for their sacrifice and courage,” said President George W. Bush. “I’ll never stop working to help our military, their families, and our veterans, and I’m grateful to Zachry Group for supporting that mission.”

 “As Military City USA, San Antonio is the perfect place to display these portraits of patriotic American heroes,” said Mayor Ron Nirenberg, “This exhibition will be an important addition to our Tricentennial celebration, and it will highlight on a national stage the amazing improvements at the Witte Museum. The City of San Antonio appreciates Zachry Group’s generous decision to bring the exhibition here.”

In addition to the collection of portraits, the exhibit includes information and resources created by the Bush Institute’s Military Service Initiative that visitors can use to learn how to better support post-9/11 warriors in their communities. These resources are intended to help bridge the military-civilian divide.

“The Witte Museum is honored to host this powerful exhibition with such a meaningful background,” said Marise McDermott, President and CEO of the Witte Museum. “President George W. Bush has committed the stories of America’s warriors to canvas, immortalizing their commitment, and sacrifice to our country. We look forward to sharing this experience.”

The paintings featured in Portraits of Courage are also the subject of the best-selling hardcover book by President Bush, available in stores and online. The net proceeds will be donated to the George W. Bush Presidential Center, a nonprofit organization whose Military Service Initiative works to ensure that post-9/11 veterans and their families make successful transitions to civilian life with a focus on gaining meaningful employment and overcoming the invisible wounds of war.  The book will be available at the Bolner Family Museum Store.

About the Witte Museum

Founded in 1926, the Witte Museum is where Science, Nature and Culture Meet, through the lens of Texas Deep Time, and the themes of Land, Water, and Sky. Located on the banks of the San Antonio River in Brackenridge Park, the Witte Museum is San Antonio’s premier museum promoting lifelong learning through innovative exhibitions, programs, and collections in natural history, science and South Texas heritage.

About the George W. Bush Institute

Housed within the George W. Bush Presidential Center, the George W. Bush Institute is an action-oriented, nonpartisan policy organization with the mission of developing leaders, advancing policy, and taking action to solve today’s most pressing challenges. The work is achieved through three Impact Centers – Domestic Excellence, Global Leadership, and our Engagement Agenda – by which the Bush Institute engages the greater community with its important work.

About Zachry Group

Zachry Group, headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is America’s pace-setter in turnkey construction, engineering, maintenance, turnaround and fabrication services in the power, energy, chemicals, manufacturing and industrial sectors. It works with customers to plan, build and renew their most critical facilities, so they can achieve their immediate and long-term goals, all at the highest standards of safety and quality. Zachry Group operates 35 offices with more than 22,000 employees working in more than 400 locations across North America. 

Source: Witte Museum

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