Stevens’ portrait now hangs in capitol

Photo by Dave Donaldson

The portrait of the late U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, commissioned by the Alaska Legislature, now hangs outside the House Speaker’s office on the second floor of the State Capitol. It was put up Wednesday morning.

The oil painting, by Alaskan artist Dean Larson, was unveiled two weeks ago in a ceremony at the Alaska State Museum, attended by Stevens’ widow, Catherine.

Larson, who studied under renowned Alaska artist Fred Machetanz, once worked in Stevens’ Washington, D.C. office.

The idea for a Stevens’ portrait came from Juneau resident and long-time legislative staffer John Manly, who took it to Juneau Rep. Cathy Munoz. It wasn’t long before the joint Legislative Council approved the project, which cost about $11,000.

State Capitol building manager Don Johnston says the portrait must still be protected. It will soon be encased in a Honduras mahogany frame and shielded with vandal-proof satefy glass. Stevens’ portrait is hanging in the vicinity of two other U.S. senators who left a significant imprint on Alaska history: Bob Bartlett and Ernest Gruening.

Stevens was the longest serving Republican in the U.S. Senate, having represented Alaska for 40 years. He was a member of the Alaska House of Representatives from 1965 through 1968.

He died in a plane crash in Southwest Alaska in 2010.

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