The State of Delaware unveiled the official portraits of former Gov. Jack Markell and former Delaware first lady Carla Markell during ceremonies that took place in Dover on June 13, 2017. Both portraits were painted by David Larned.
In the first ceremony, which took place at Legislative Hall, Gov. John Carney and a host of dignitaries celebrated the unveiling of Gov. Markell’s portrait which has since joined the portraits of many of Delaware’s chief executives dating back to Thomas McKean, the 2nd president of Delaware who served in 1777. The portraits of the state’s governors are displayed in the building’s Hall of Governors. Markell family members attending the ceremony included Governor and Mrs. Markell, their daughter Molly, Gov. Markell’s mother Elaine and Mrs. Markell’s mother Joan.
In the second ceremony, which took place at Woodburn, the Governor’s Residence, Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long assisted former Gov. Markell in unveiling Mrs. Markell’s portrait which has since joined the residence’s collection of first-lady portraits dating back to Mrs. Gunning Bedford.
The Markell portraits are the latest additions to the State Portrait Collection which was founded in 1913 for the purpose of placing portraits of significant Delaware statesmen in public spaces. With the acquisition of its first work in 1802—an imposing portrait of George Washington painted by Denis A. Volozan—this collection has grown to include more than 200 works, in a variety of media, of many of the state’s most notable public figures including governors, first ladies, members of Congress, legislators, judges, military personnel and a variety of other political and historical figures. Notable artists whose works are represented in the collection include John Wollaston, James Claypoole, John Hesselius, John Trumbull, Thomas Sully, Howard Pyle, Frank Schoonover, Ethel P.B. Leach, N.C. Wyeth, Orville Peets, Charles Parks, Simmie Knox and Jamie Wyeth. Portraits are either purchased with a combination of public and private funds or received as donations and designated for the portrait collection.
The State Portrait Collection is administered by the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs which is responsible for the care and control of the state’s varied assemblage of museum objects, archaeological artifacts, works of art and archival materials.
Visitors can see items from the portrait collection at a variety of locations across the state, most notably, through guided tours of Legislative Hall and Woodburn, or by visiting The Old State House which houses the Washington portrait as well as portraits of War of 1812 heroes Commodores Jacob Jones and Thomas Macdonough painted by Thomas Sully. Go to those organization’s websites for days and hours of visitation.
For press coverage of the portrait unveiling ceremony at Legislative Hall, go to the following:
Former Del. governor legacy lives through portrait
WMDT-TV, Salisbury, Md.—June 13, 2017