As Maryville College President Tom Bogart prepares to leave office next week, his portrait is ready to hang beside those of the 10 previous presidents in Thaw Hall.
The college’s board of directors commissioned art professor Carl Gombert to paint Bogart’s portrait, which was unveiled Wednesday, June 24.
The oil-on-canvas image shows Bogart wearing his academic regalia and presidential medallion. “Because the renovation of Anderson Hall is one of Dr. Bogart’s signature accomplishments, the painting portrays him in front of a window overlooking the iconic campus landmark,” Gombert said.
The artist said he wanted to create a pose and expression “that suggest something formal but not formidable — and something both firm but friendly.”
To visually commemorate Bogart’s 10 years of service, Gombert embedded 10 small circles in the window frame.
Bogart and his wife, Mary, saw the painting for the first time on June 24, during a private unveiling in the Lamar Memorial Library of Thaw Hall, where attendees included the Bogarts, Gombert, board Chair Mary Kay Sullivan and several staff members.
Upon seeing the painting for the first time, Bogart said it’s “unbelievable to think that I get to be in such impressive company in Thaw Hall.”
“It’s especially meaningful that Carl Gombert, an incredible colleague and talented artist, was the one to paint the portrait,” Bogart said, adding jokingly that “given the subject matter, (Gombert) did pretty well. You can tell he’s a professional.
“The incorporation of Anderson Hall — the renovation of which was one of the highlights of my time here — was a gracious touch,” Bogart said.
Gombert, whose work has been exhibited in more than 300 shows and is included in numerous museums and public collections, also was commissioned to create the portrait of the college’s 10th president, Gerald Gibson, upon his retirement in 2010. Gombert has taught painting, drawing and art history at Maryville College since 1993.
Mary Bogart was presented with a framed collection of the uniquely designed invitations to her annual Spring Ladies Luncheon.
The college had to alter plans for a public unveiling of the portrait and other farewell events because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The portrait was unveiled virtually — piece by piece — on social media this week.
From 4:30-5:30 p.m. today, June 26, a drive-by thank-you parade for the Bogarts will be held on campus on Circle Drive, with the Bogarts seated in a tent in front of Anderson Hall.