Donald Trump might be the most photographed president-elect in American history, with his likeness appearing on everything from the cover of Time Magazine to books, but now he can add the hallways of the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. to the list.
A photograph of Trump, taken in 1989 for an American business edition of Fortune magazine, was donated to the museum by photographer Michael O’Brien in 2011, but was put on display for the inauguration.
In the portrait, Trump stands in front of a bright blue sky tossing a shiny red apple into the air in a nod to the Big Apple--New York City--and his influence in the city's real estate market at the time.
“Usually I don’t know what I’m going to do until I get there,” O’Brien told ABC News of Trump's portrait sitting. “But with this one I almost saw it when I was asked to do it.”
O’Brien said he proposed his idea of throwing an apple to Trump, who immediately supported the plan. “He said, ‘that’s a great idea,’” and O’Brien had Trump “toss the apple until his arm got tired.”
The image-conscious president-elect, who has been known to criticize photos of him used on television and in publications, liked the photo by O’Brien well enough to select it as the cover image for his second book and autobiography, "Trump: Surviving at the Top."
David Ward, the senior historian at the National Portrait Gallery, told ABC News that the Smithsonian has four images of Trump in its collection —- the O’Brien portrait, two Wall Street Journal sketches and a caricature.
The Smithsonian selected the photograph because it represents a “bridge between [Trump’s] business and the private career and now his public one.” Plus, the caricature, while nice, said Ward, “wouldn't really be appropriate for the incoming president.”
Over the course of Trump’s tenure, Ward said the museum will work on acquiring more photographs and paintings of the 45th president, with the most important addition being the official White House portrait.
“We do have official portraits of all the presidents and that is a process that occurs at the end of their term,” said Ward. “We work with the White House to create a work of art, usually an oil painting, but it doesn't have to be--in which the White House, the staff and the President himself--they create an image of the president in office that will sit upstairs in our hall of presidents.”
The photograph of Trump will be on display in Washington, D.C. until the end of February.