Presidential portraiture is a practice that has continued ever since artist Gilbert Stuart painted the first portrait ever of George Washington in 1796. To this day, traditional oil paintings are commissioned for each U.S. president; however, other mediums have inevitably and accordingly been introduced into this custom, specifically due to technological advancements. This was the case with the development of daguerreotypes in the late 1830 s (John Quincy Adams posed for what is considered the oldest surviving photograph of an American president in 1843) and it was certainly the case with the invention of digital cameras in the mid-1970 s (which surprisingly didn't infiltrate presidential portraiture until 2009, when Pete Souza was the first to take a digital official portrait of Barack Obama).
From paintings and busts to photographs, we can now say that in 2014 a new genre has been added to the ever-changing types of presidential portraiture: 3-D printing. Only a couple of days ago, the White House released a video (see below) of president Obama sitting for yet another historic portrait session, coordinated by the Smithsonian Institution in collaboration with the University of Southern California's Institute for Creative Technologies. Below is an image documenting the newly created 3-D bust:
Digital Program Office / Smithsonian Institution
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Dec 04 2014