Glendening's portrait has outdoorsy look


The Capital
January 10, 2003

Gov. Parris N. Glendening yesterday unveiled the official portrait that will commemorate his years in office: a painting that shows a casual, outdoorsy governor standing beside a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay.

In the portrait, Mr. Glendening wears a navy blue blazer over an open-collar polo-style shirt and khaki pants. He's depicted standing on a dock on Marshyhope Creek in a reserve in Dorchester County, one mile off the Nanticoke River.

One-third of all the land preserved from development in Maryland was set aside under Mr. Glendening's eight years in office, so the painting is a fitting tribute to such an environmental governor, said William Baker, president of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

"There is little doubt that history will hold Smart Growth as his crowning achievement," Mr. Baker said. "Parris Glendening literally wrote the book on Smart Growth."

The $35,000 portrait was paid for by the Government House Trust, a private fund-raising group that furnishes the State House.

John Howard Sanden of Ridgefield, Conn., said he finished the portrait in six or seven sittings. He painted the background separately with a member of the governor's staff as a stand-in.

Mr. Glendening's portrait contrasts sharply with the more formal ones of his predecessors, all of whom are situated inside, wearing suits and ties.

Former governor William Donald Schaefer, for example, is shown seated at his desk, with his hand on the page of an open book and the Maryland flag behind him.

The outgoing governor, who leaves office next week, used the opportunity to wax nostalgic about his two terms, and said he hopes the painting will serve as a reminder to future generations of the importance of preserving the environment.

He finished by quoting the late Florida governor Lawton Chiles, who said of his years in office, "I didn't come to stay, I came to make difference."

The portraits decorate three walls of the Governor's Reception Room on the second floor of the State House. The room dates back to the original construction of the State House between 1772 and 1779 and is used for ceremonial occasions, governors' press conferences and meetings such as the Board of Public Works.

Because of space limitations, when a new portrait is installed, the others shift to the left. The earliest portrait is moved to another public building in Annapolis. When Mr. Glendening's picture is hung, Gov. Emerson C. Harrington, who was in office from 1916 to 1920, will leave the building.