Portraits mark political history, change of guard

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Artists often put oil to canvas at this time of year to render the official portrait of a governor or legislative leader who's coming to or going from office.

Oil paintings of American politicians go back to George Washington. It's a tradition that's been made largely immune to budget pressures thanks to private funding.

But the practice isn't without its challenges. The commissioning and placement of the portraits — mostly of governors, sometimes of legislative leaders — can raise quirky questions.

What of the Ohio governor whose portrait probably took longer to paint than her 11-day tenure in office? Or the image of a once-revered New York governor who later engaged in misdeeds?

Not all Ohio's images are on display. Some lieutenant governor portraits are in storage awaiting restoration.

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