New portrait of Gov. Daniels unveiled in Statehouse ceremony


The Indiana Statehouse now has a new portrait of Gov. Mitch Daniels.

The governor’s official portrait was revealed Tuesday during a public ceremony at the Statehouse.

“I hope that long after anybody can name the person in this portrait, young people of today and those who were adults when it happened, will look back and say this was a time of action and turning a corner in Indiana,” said Daniels. “Where a lot of good people came to do the citizens’ job, a job once described as ‘the rent we owe this country.’ They weren’t on the make for anything else, they weren’t just here to touch up a resume or to prepare for the campaign for the next political office. They had no agenda but to build a much better and stronger state for the young people so soon to come after them. I’ll just recall what John Adams once wrote. He said ‘duty is ours, the results are up to God.’ I would like to think that we did our duty and I do believe God held up His end.”

Lafayette-native Richard Halstead was selected to paint the piece. He was one of more than 40 artists who applied to paint the portrait.  The artist said before painting the portrait, he met with people who knew Gov. Daniels.  He said the governor was described as having high energy to contemplative and as an individual with unusual clarity of vision and purpose.

“The governor’s only request for the portrait was that it not be artificial or unnatural. And that was in keeping with comments I heard from others who emphasized his genuineness and authenticity. It seemed natural and appropriate that the portrait should be based on that particular foundation,” said Halstead. “From my interviews at the beginning all the way through to the finish, my image of the governor has grown in its complexity and my appreciation. I hope you see that in the portrait. I hope you and people in the future can see the lasting impact of Governor Daniels’ character on the history of this great state of Indiana.

Halstead’s artwork hangs in several galleries across the country, including the National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.

It’s tradition for the portrait of the immediate past governor to go in the lobby of the governor’s office. Daniels will conclude his second term in January before taking over as president of Purdue University.