Lots of people collect autographs of the Presidents. There are lots of things you have to watch out for – secretary, autopen, etc. Oh, there’s also the guy that bought an autographed picture of the White House, signed by Presidents, Vice Presidents, First Ladies…yet the charity selling it got it from Charity Fundraising Packages – which deals in forged items.
That being said, the presidential collectors must be jonesing to get their hands on one of George W. Bush’s paintings. The 43rd president said in an interview recently, “I tell people that the signature on my paintings is worth more than the paintings.”
He signs it with a simple “43,” but I think he should’ve just signed it “W” – like the bumper stickers all had. Or, what Michael Jordan does. Charles Barkley told me that he signs just his initials “MJ” but he makes it look like the number “23.” I could easily see how the “3” in “43” could’ve been a “W” – and he’d get them both in there.
As of now, the paintings haven’t gone up for sale. That tops the painting Jimmy Carter did that went for $250,000 at a charity auction.
Dwight Eisenhower and Winston Churchill were also known to paint, but I’ve never heard of any of their paintings selling in any auctions.
Vladimir Putin was a painter, and once sold a painting of one of his dogs to a Russian oligarch for over $1 million.
Putin is also one of the portraits W painted. There’s also German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, the Dalai Lama, his dad George H.W. Bush, and about 15 other heads of state.
The “Art of Leadership” is at the George W. Bush Presidential Center at Southern Methodist University until June 3rd.
And on a similar history lesson through art and autographs – there’s the recent Rolling Stone cover that had Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Seinfeld). She was nude on the cover, with the U.S. Constitution tattooed on her back. It was signed at the bottom (near her bottom) by John Hancock. Any of you history buffs (no pun intended) will realize there’s a big bottom…errr…big problem with that. You see, Hancock signed the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution.
The National Constitution Center in Philadelphia mocked the cover and tweeted a photo of the cover with some of the founding fathers that signed the Constitution, and the words “Thanks for the shoutout, but no Hancock here.”
Dreyfus tweeted the next day that it wasn’t a mistake, but the “John Hancock” was actually just a birthmark she had. She posted a cute baby photo as proof (see below).
I think the next autograph collector to get her signature should ask her to write “Here’s my John Hancock” above her signature.