Alabama governor’s portrait hung in Capitol
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Visitors to Alabama’s Capitol for Gov. Robert Bentley’s inauguration Monday will be among the first to see his official portrait.
The portrait was hung Thursday in the second floor rotunda without any fanfare. The state director of historical sites for the Alabama Historical Commission, Stephen McNair, said the inauguration is considered the unofficial unveiling for the portrait donated by Bentley.
Bentley’s communications director, Jennifer Ardis, said the portrait was commissioned through Leon Loard Portraits in Montgomery and painted by Jie Ruan. Ruan does work in the United States and China.
The portrait shows Bentley in front of his desk in the governor’s office. Medical books, the medical symbol caduceus, and a picture of first lady Dianne Bentley are on the desk. Ardis said they represent important things in his life.
Bentley was a dermatologist in Tuscaloosa before being elected to his first term in 2010. He was re-elected in November and will take the oath of office Monday morning in front of the Capitol
Most recent governors have had their portraits painted at the governor’s desk or in front of the fireplace in the governor’s office, and most, like Bentley, have included items important to them in the background.
The portraits of Bentley’s three predecessors, Bob Riley, Don Siegelman and Fob James, also hang in the rotunda that separates the state Senate chamber from the House chamber. Portraits of Gov. George C. Wallace and Gov. Lurleen Wallace, which had been in the rotunda since the 1980s, were moved to the first floor hallway of the Capitol, where the portraits of many Alabama governors hang, McNair said.