Portrait of Robert A. (Bob) Taft, Governor of Ohio
First Lady Hope Taft’s comments delivered at the unveiling ceremony of the Governor’s portrait, Ohio Statehouse Rotunda, March 23rd, 2007: “First, my eyes find Bob and I realize how much it looks like him…Many times on the campaign trail, we wished he had a clone, well now he finally does! Leslie, you did a magnificent job. Thank you for capturing not only Bob’s likeness but also his character. He looks like a man you would want to know, one that children flock to, one that is kind and fair, one who has a positive disposition and one who loves his state and country. Next look what is in his hands. There you will see a copy of the book he published… called “Along the Way.” This book of photos of his favorite places in Ohio…Leslie inserted a special secret into this painting: Bob’s finger keeps the book open to the page containing a photo of Anna, our daughter. How is that for love! Finally, the beautiful state seal that hung in the top of the rotunda when Bob first came to the Capitol as a State Representative 30 years ago….Its sun rising over Mt. Logan signifies a new day, a new beginning in Ohio. The hills and river in the background signify that life is not always easy, that there is often rugged terrain to traverse. But each day is a new…with opportunities to overcome all challenges as one strives to reach the land of peace and prosperity represented by the bundles of wheat and arrows in the foreground of the seal’s design. Bob’s term as governor had plenty of challenges but he was still able to start Ohio on a new course that will bring it a better future.”
Of the work, Mr. John Bobb, Fine Arts Consultant for the Statehouse stated, “Adams’ painting is the best portrait to be hung in the [Ohio] Statehouse since the late nineteenth century.” The painting now hangs in the William Howard Taft Hearing Room directly across from a portrait of the Governor’s great-grandfather.