WASHINGTON, D.C. – A portrait of Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX) ranking member and former chairman of the House Armed Services Committee will soon hang in the Committee’s main hearing room, joining the portraits of fourteen other former committee chairmen. Thornberry announced his retirement from Congress late last year. The House of Representatives received the portrait for the House Collection today. The portrait, painted by Robert Anderson, was funded by private donors through a program administered by the U.S. Capitol Historical Association. Anderson explained his inspiration for the work:
“It was a pleasure and a privilege to have been invited to paint Armed Services Committee Chairman, Congressman Mac Thornberry's portrait, and to have spent some time with him and his wife Sally in Washington in preparation for the project. As many of you know, Mac is an avid reader, and as we were choosing a background for his portrait, he expressed that he would like to have the shelves of books in his office as a backdrop. That seemed fitting to me, especially after discovering a quote from English writer, Holbrooke Jackson who said, ‘Your library is your portrait.’ To my relief, Mac said that it would not be necessary to paint titles of all the books. As I contemplated the body of knowledge on those shelves, the image of Mac Thornberry consuming it all became important to keep in mind as I painted him. In developing his portrait, I thought of Mac having figuratively emptied the content of his library into his ever-growing body of knowledge and understanding of the world. The atmospheric remains of the books on the shelves behind him are meant to signify a broad range of thought and insight without singling out specific titles.”
Watch the portrait unveiling here.