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Portrait of Sen. Harkin unveiled in Senate building

2012_0920_HarkinPortrait
Portrait of Sen. Tom Harkin, by Jacqueline Jasper


The official portrait of former Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, who chaired the Senate Agriculture Committee from 2001 to 2003 and from 2007 to 2009, was unveiled Wednesday evening at a reception in the Kennedy Caucus Room of the Russell Senate Office Building.

As is customary with portraits of former Agriculture Committee chairmen, Harkin's portrait will hang in the committee hearing room.

During the ceremony, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., noted that Harkin had worked on eight farm bills since coming to Washington as a member of the House of Representatives in 1975. Senate Agriculture Committee ranking member Pat Roberts, R-Kan., jokingly said he was there for Harkin’s “hanging,” and then noted that his work with Harkin to develop bipartisan farm bills had annoyed the leadership of both parties.

Neal Hamilton, a professor at the Drake Law School in Des Moines and director of its Agricultural Law Center, chaired the committee that raised money from groups and individuals to commission the painting.

The artist, Jacqueline Jasper, was born and raised in Dyersville, Iowa, a half mile from the “Field of Dreams”" After a career as a fashion artist in New York, Jasper now lives in eastern Pennsylvania where she has turned to portraiture. She is a founding member of the Portrait Society of America.