Mississippi unveils portraits of former Gov. Bryant and wife
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — In his portrait unveiled Tuesday, former Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant stands outside the state Capitol with his left hand on his hip and his right hand clasping his grandmother’s Bible.
Bryant said during a ceremony that his father’s mother recorded family marriages and births inside the black leather cover of the holy book, and he used that Bible when he took his oaths of office.
“I kept that on my desk every day as a (reminder) that I would live not for worldly acclaim or attention but I might do as Scriptures instructed — that I might try the best I can to be a good and faithful servant,” Bryant said.
Republican current Gov. Tate Reeves and Democratic former Gov. Ronnie Musgrove were among the dozens of people who gathered inside the Capitol on Tuesday for the unveiling of portraits of Bryant and his wife, Deborah.
Bryant, 67, is a Republican who was governor from January 2012 to January 2020. Before that, he served four years as lieutenant governor, 11 years as state auditor and five years in the state House of Representatives.
His portrait will hang in the Hall of Governors on the first floor of the state Capitol, next to the portrait of his predecessor, Republican former Gov. Haley Barbour.
Deborah Bryant’s portrait will hang in the First Ladies Gallery of the Old Capitol Museum.
Both portraits were painted by Katherine Buchanan of Brandon, who met the Bryants several years ago when they bid on another of her paintings at a fundraiser for a family who had experienced an unexpected death.
Buchanan said she worked from photographs of Phil and Deborah Bryant.
“They were so easy to work with. Very easy to please,” she said.
Phil Bryant on Tuesday recalled starting work at the state Capitol in 1992 as a young member of the state House of Representatives from Rankin County.
“I never would have imagined that 30 years later we’d have this great opportunity not just to put a period but perhaps an exclamation point at the end of the administration,” Bryant said.