Stevens’ widow, Catherine, stood next to an easel draped in red velvet, as the painting was revealed to an overflow crowd in the Alaska State Museum.
Gov. Sean Parnell started the countdown: “1-2-3,” then the drape came down.
Catherine Stevens said her late husband looked like he was “keeping a sharp eye out. He has something to say. And I think, you know, Ted always had his pocket square and his Senate pin, so I think you captured his spirit very well.”
Before the unveiling, Parnell, House and Senate leaders, artist Dean Larson, and Catherine Stevens spoke about Stevens’ ardent love for the state and his 40 years representing Alaska in the U.S. Senate. Stevens was first elected to political office representing Anchorage in the Alaska State House from 1965 through 1968.
“The Stevens’ family wants to thank you for bringing him home to the state,” Catherine Stevens said.The artist is the son of the late Rep. Ron Larson of Palmer and was an intern in Steven’s U.S. Senate office. Larson said he used multiple photos of Stevens to create the protrait, which is set in the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee Room. Stevens served many years as a member of the appropriations committee. Catherine Stevens said it was his favorite room in the U.S. Capitol.
Larson also studied under Alaska artist Fred Machetanz (Mah-kah-tan), who painted the portrait of Alaska’s first U.S. senator, Ernest Gruening. The Gruening portrait hangs on the second floor of the state capitol.