Pentagon Commissions Panetta Portrait for $31,000

Monday, 22 Jul 2013 03:12 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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The Defense Department has awarded a $31,000 contract, with frame included, for an official oil portrait of former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

Portraits Inc. was commissioned for the work, reports The Weekly Standard.

"The portrait shall be executed by an artist experienced in commissions of Presidential Cabinet Level or other Senior/High Ranking Officials," the official order reads. "The official portrait shall be suitable for permanent exhibition as part of the Pentagon Collection in the Pentagon, Washington, D.C."

Panetta retired in February, and was replaced by former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel. His career in Washington spanned four decades and included stints as a lawmaker, top White House official, and spy chief who oversaw the killing of Osama bin Laden.

Portraits Inc. has a history of painting official artwork that dates back to the 1940's, when it was founded by art and antiques dealer and socialite Lois Shaw, who commissioned artists to do drawings of military men and women as gifts to their families.

The company has since grown to have a roster that includes nearly every major painter and sculptor in the world, and its works have included official portraits of many of the nation's leaders over the years, including former President George W. Bush.

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