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  Senate Vice Presidential Bust Collection

 George H.W. Bush
(Modeled 1990, Carved 1990) by Walker Kirtland Hancock
 George H.W. Bush 

This marble bust of George H.W. Bush was formally unveiled on June 27, 1991. Bush was one of 14 vice presidents to become president and the only sitting chief executive to watch as his vice presidential portrait was dedicated. Commissioned by the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, the bust was the 42nd to be included in the Senate’s Vice Presidential Bust Collection.

President Bush sat for renowned sculptor and octogenarian Walker Hancock, a long-standing friend of the Bush family, at the White House in 1989. Hancock worked from measurements and from 125 photographs he took during the sitting, adding final touches later that year at Camp David. Noting Bush’s “very fine head,” the artist called his subject’s features “very strong and sculptural.” [1] The life-size bust was modeled by Hancock in clay, and a plaster cast made. It was carved in Carrara marble in Pietrasanta, Italy, and unveiled at the Capitol the day before Hancock’s 90th birthday.

Dedicated to understanding and expressing the character of his subjects, Hancock received much acclaim and many awards. He gained wide attention for the Stone Mountain Memorial outside Atlanta, Georgia, a 69-foot-high bas-relief memorializing Confederate leaders Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and Stonewall Jackson. He also created the 40-foot bronze Pennsylvania Railroad War Memorial in Philadelphia. Among Hancock’s numerous portrait sculptures are busts of Vice Presidents Gerald R. Ford and Hubert Humphrey, which are also in the Senate’s Vice Presidential Bust Collection.

1. Donnie Radcliffe, "The Unveiling of the Finely Chiseled George Bush," Washington Post, 25 June 1991.

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