Portrait of Former Governor Chafee Unveiled at RI State House

Twitter: @markcurtisABC6  

To hearty applause, the official State House portrait of Governor Lincoln Chafee was unveiled.

It was painted by Providence artist Julie Gearan.

“I think he had many sides, as we all do and I hope I picked up on some of them. I tried hard to,” said Gearan.

So Gearan painted Chafee’s right hand removing his coat – to lead; and painted his left hand on a rock, near plants, to symbolize his environmentalism.

He eyes are looking off into the distance.

“He very much liked the idea of feeling himself to be a thoughtful, pensive person; to have that reflected in the portrait,” said artist Gearan.

ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis, “Believe it or not, in Rhode Island there is an actual law that says portraits of all Governors, must be commissioned before they leave office.”

The state paid 15 thousand dollars for Chafee’s portrait, the same price, as his two predecessors.

“These are windows to Rhode Island’s past, and as such, a great way to chronicle what Rhode Island has been an where it’s going to,” Randall Rosenbaum of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts.

And while there was lots of praise for the work, some were not big fans.

“I’ve known Chafee since he was a (Warwick) Ward Nine Council person. And he just looks so different, you know in this portrait, than what I remember him,” said Marilyn Soscia.

While former Governor Chafee did not attend, his youngest brother did.

“I really, really like that! Really good, so congratulations… You did a really good job. Thank you,” said Quentin Chafee.

Chafee’s portrait will hang on the wall with those of the other Governor’s, including his late father John.