Dec 31, 2021

Happy New Year From LBJ

This artwork was given to my dad by the librarian at the high school where he taught before his retirement.  About twenty years ago, the school was clearing out some clutter, and my pop liked the artwork, so they let him take it home and it's been hanging up in his kitchen ever since.  It was only after he got home that he noticed that the bottom right hand corner of the painting was signed by the 36th President of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson and his wife, Lady Bird Johnson.

I'm not sure if this was given by the President and the First Lady to the school directly, or if it was given to someone else and was later donated to the school.  The bottom right hand corner is dated Christmas 1966 and LBJ was still president at the time.

After doing a some research, I learned that this is a lithograph print of a watercolor painting by Robert Laessig.  His artwork was used on the official White House Christmas cards that were sent out by the President throughout the 1960s, including this painting which was used on the 1966 White House Christmas card.  It shows the Elm tree that was planted by President Woodrow Wilson shading the North Portico.  Mr. Laessig went on to work as the director of the American Greetings Corporation.  He died in 2010 at the age of 97.