Local Artist’s Painting Picked For Veep’s Residence

Douglas David’s rendering of peonies, the Indiana state flower, now hangs in the Pences’ Washington, D.C. home.

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A piece of Indiana hangs in the vice president’s residence in Washington, D.C., thanks to Mike and Karen Pence—and Indianapolis artist Douglas David. Over the summer, Karen Pence reached out to the Indiana Arts Commission, hankering for a painting of peonies, our state flower. The arts group referred her to David, known for his colorful landscapes and still-life paintings.

After looking through about eight of David’s peony paintings and settling on an arrangement of pink and white flowers, Karen Pence placed an order for delivery. But David remembered he had a class to teach in Connecticut the following week and would be staying in Philadelphia, a mere two-and-a-half-hour drive from D.C. So he packed up his painting and headed to D.C. to deliver it himself.

“She was very excited about that and cleared some of her schedule so I could meet with her,” recalls David. The two spent the afternoon together, drinking iced tea and touring the grounds. Pence, whom David describes as a “lovely woman,” even showed David where his painting would be hung in the sunroom at Number One Observatory Circle.

David’s work has hung in the Indiana Governor’s Residence, but this is the first national figure he has worked with. The peony painting is on loan to the Pences until 2020, when David will put it up for sale. By that time it will have shared wall space with paintings from the Smithsonian for three years, but David says that won’t affect how he prices it.

In the meantime, Karen Pence will have exactly what she wanted: a little piece of home.

 

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