Many portraits in the House Collection include elements that mark the sitter’s office or interests, but few combine as many allusions as this one of Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey. Fellow Wisconsin legislator Robert La Follette is depicted in a print on the left. A map of Wisconsin, harmonica, and image of the sitter’s spouse are in the right foreground, along with a favorite book, The Lives and Times of Archy and Mehitabel. The entrance to the Speaker’s Lobby and the House Chamber occupy the background. The subject himself, in the middle ground, leans on the mantelpiece of his Capitol office.
History, Art & Archives, U.S. House of Representatives, “David Ross Obey,” https://history.house.gov/Collection/Listing/2005/2005-065-000/ (January 18, 2022)
Office of the Historian
Office of Art and Archives
Attic, Thomas Jefferson Building
Washington, D.C. 20515