FACT CHECK: Was A Painting Of George Washington That Hung In The White House For 200 Years Removed?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claims a painting of George Washington, which allegedly hung in the White House for over 200 years, was removed.

Verdict: False

The painting was hung in the White House for around 40 years until 2014. It was never owned by the White House.

Fact Check:

The White House recently unveiled its own menorah for the first time to celebrate Hanukah, an ancient Jewish festival, according to NPR. The menorah is part of 2022’s “We The People” themed holiday display and is now a permanent part of the collections, the outlet reported.

The image, shared more than 350 times, claims a painting of Washington was removed from the White House after being hung in the residence for 200 years. The image shows Emanuel Leutze’s “Washington Crossing the Delaware,” which memorializes Washington crossing the Delaware River in 1776, according to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET).

The image, however, gets key information incorrect. The painting was created in 1851, which would make it around 170 years old, not 200. There are two versions, one which has been in the MET since 1897 and the one that was hung in the White House from the 1970s until 2014, according to The New York Times.

The painting was never owned by the White House. It was loaned out to the White House for display after someone purchased the painting for $370,000 in 1979, according to The New York Times. In 2015, the painting was displayed at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum in Winona, Minnesota after it was purchased by Mary Burrichter and Bob Kierlin, the Pioneer Press reported.

The painting was later sold in 2022 at a Christie’s auction in New York for $45 million, though the identity of the buyer and seller is not disclosed, WXOM.com reported. (RELATED: Is Donald Trump The Only President Since George Washington To Donate His Salary?)

Check Your Fact reached out to the White House and Christie’s for more information and will update this article if a response is provided.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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