Today, Governor Eric Greitens announced that for the first time in Missouri history a portrait of an African-American will be displayed at the Governor’s Mansion. The portrait, depicting George Washington Carver, was painted by a Missouri artist, Joanna Reid.
“We hang this portrait today because George Washington Carver is one of us. He is a Missourian who came from very little, went very far, and left our country better for his time on Earth.
He began life as a slave—and he ended it a hero, someone praised throughout the world, someone honored by Presidents and Kings for his work feeding people and fixing farms. It is an honor to recognize his tremendous example,” said Governor Greitens.
“By creating a color image of George Washington Carver, I hoped to make his story and persona more real for this generation,” said Joanna Reid, the artist. “I want people to be enamored with the gentle intelligence in his expression. I hope they will find it memorable and want to know more about this multi-talented, genuine, brilliant scientist and personality. People should know about him, learn from him, and be inspired by him!
If I could say one thing to GWC about his legacy, I would say, ‘Thank you for your tireless, inspiring efforts to make a difference for struggling farmers, and thank you for taking the time to put many important ideas into memorable words.’ My favorite GWC quote is ‘How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because some day in life you will have been all of these.”
The portrait is to be presented at a Black History Month reception hosted by the Governor and First Lady. It will hang in the dining room of the Governor’s Mansion. The portrait will be available for the public to view tomorrow during normal touring hours. Tours of the Governor’s Mansion are available from 10:00 AM to 1:45 PM on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. For groups larger than 10, a reservation should be made.