Friday, May 16, 2008

Portrait of Ga. senator unveiled on Capitol Hill


The University of Georgia unveiled an oil portrait Tuesday commemorating Sen. Saxby Chambliss' chairmanship of the Senate Agriculture Committee.

The painting will hang in the committee's hearing room until 21 years after he leaves office. It will then be moved to UGA's Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies as part of a permanent collection on Chambliss' political career.

It was unveiled at an afternoon ceremony on Capitol Hill.

Chambliss, a Republican from Moultrie and 1966 UGA graduate, was chairman of the Agriculture Committee for two years before Democrats took control of Congress in the 2006 elections.

Portraits of former chairmen are a tradition in Congress, lining the walls of committee rooms throughout the Capitol and surrounding office buildings.

Chambliss' portrait, owned by UGA, was done by a Bulgarian-born artist who goes by the name Rossin and who lives in Atlanta. Rossin also has done portraits of President George W. Bush and former president George H.W. Bush. He also has a work on display in the White House depicting the presidents of the 20th century.

Private donations, mainly from agribusiness interests, were raised to pay for the Chambliss painting. It cost $17,000, according to William Gray Potter, director of UGA libraries and associate provost.

Chambliss has committed his official papers to be archived at the Russell library.

© 2008 Ledger-Enquirer and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.

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