December 3, 2012 (ongoing)
The Portrait Gallery’s most recent commissioned portrait is of Colin L. Powell. Powell is an American statesman and a retired four-star general in the United States Army. He was the 65th United States secretary of state, serving under President George W. Bush. He was the first African American to serve in that position. During his military career, Powell also served as national security advisor, as commander of the U.S. Army Forces Command and as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, holding the latter position during the Gulf War. He was the first, and so far the only, African American to serve on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The Portrait Gallery has commissioned this oil on canvas portrait by the artist, Ronald Sherr. Sherr is well known for his portraits of figures in government and business. His work is represented in the Portrait Gallery’s collection by a portrait of President George H. W. Bush on view in “America’s Presidents.” After visiting a number of sites in and near Washington that were relevant to the general’s career, the artist decided to situate him in front of Theodore Roosevelt Hall at the National War College at Fort McNair.
The image was unveiled December 2, 2012.