Baker switches up portraits in Guv’s Council chamber

A portrait of Samuel Adams now hangs on the wall in the Governor's Council chamber

BOSTON (State House News Service) – A founding father, an abolitionist, and a Brahmin governor who led the state during World War II are among the portraits of governors that Gov. Charlie Baker has chosen to feature near his office.

Workers on Thursday moved three portraits into the Governor’s Council chamber, after Baker picked tributes to individuals who showed leadership during difficult times.

A portrait of Samuel Adams, who was governor of Massachusetts from 1794 to 1797, now hangs on the wall in the Governor’s Council chamber, along with a portrait of Gov. John Andrew, who was governor during the Civil War, and Gov. Leverett Saltonstall, who was governor during World War II from 1939 to 1944.

Baker stopped by the council chamber while the antique portraits were being moved. The Adams portrait is a 120-year-old copy of the original painted by John Singleton Copley in the late 1700s.

Adams’ portrait replaces a painting of Gov. Maurice Tobin, which has hung in the chamber for many years. Baker described Tobin as a “fine man,” but said it was time to bring in someone new.

“And I’ve always been a fan of John Andrew; and Sam Adams obviously he’s part of the gang that got us here in the first place, and Saltonstall who was governor during World War II,” Baker said to reporters as the paintings were hung.

The council chamber was rehabbed as part of an $11 million governor’s office renovation before Gov. Deval Patrick left office.

Baker said he likes the remodel that restored some of the historic character to the rooms, but said he wishes the public could see it. Security concerns have prevented it, Baker said, adding he is trying to figure out a way to make the office more open to the public.

“It’s historic, it’s renovated, it’s museum quality and they paid for it,” Baker said.

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