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Pentagon Signs $31K Contract for Oil Portrait of Leon Panetta

10:09 AM, Jul 22, 2013 • By JERYL BIER
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Washington D.C. is big on tradition, and one of those traditions involves official portraits of top government officials.  The Defense Department just awarded a $31,200 contract (frame included) to Portraits, Inc. for an official portrait of former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta:

The Washington Headquarters Services Acquisition Directorate issued a Firm-Fixed Price (FFP) purchase order for the painting and delivery of the official oil portrait for the former Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, as required by the Department of Defense. This portrait shall be executed by an artist experienced in commissions of Presidential Cabinet Level or other Senior/High Ranking Officials. The official portrait shall be suitable for permanent exhibition as part of the Pentagon Collection in the Pentagon, Washington DC.

Just last October, Panetta unveiled the portrait of his predecessor Robert Gates in a ceremony almost derailed by Hurricane Sandy.  Although Panetta has held a number of positions in government, including representative in Congress, OMB Director, White House chief-of-staff under Bill Clinton, and CIA director for Barack Obama, the secretary of defense position appears to be the first to merit an official oil portrait.  The CIA may eventually commission a portrait of Panetta, but that agency appears to be lagging behind.  The last director with an oil portrait is George Tenet, who left the position in 2004.

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