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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Out-of-State Painter Gets Governor Portrait Contract

detail, Governor Rounds portrait by Richard R. MillerDetail, official portrait of South Dakota Governor M. Michael Rounds, by Richard R. Miller, 2010
After announcing his proposal to make South Dakota education even poorer, outgoing Governor M. Michael Rounds strolled down the hall of our august State Capitol to unveil his official portrait.

The press release on the portrait says the painter, Richard R. Miller "has a deep connection to South Dakota." He painted the portraits of Governors George S. Mickelson and Walter Dale Miller... and that's about it. Richard Miller was born in Canada. He emigrated to our side of the Great Lakes in 1957 and now maintains studios in Michigan and Tennessee. He has also lived in New York City.

No tax dollars were harmed in the creation of this painting... but the staff and friends who donated saw their South Dakota dollars leave the local economy.

We do get a nice painting in return. Artist Miller provided some sneak peaks of the portrait on his website back in June. It's very lifelike, and very blue. But did we have to include the little lapel pin?

Visit Miller's gallery, and you'll see the picture is an improvement over the Mickelson portrait, but you can't beat the portrait of good old Walter Dale, out north of the Capitol in his big white hat under that big blue Pierre sky. (Notice, speech students, that Governor Miller doesn't have his hands fig-leaf-clasped in front of himself and thus looks more forceful.) Now that's a South Dakota portrait. The artist must have drawn extra inspiration from the name.

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