Stevens portrait unveiled at US Senate

The family of Ted Stevens, including his son Ben, daughter Lily and widow Catherine, were in Washington to see the unveiling of a new portrait. (Photo by Office of Sen. Lisa Murkowski.)

A portrait of the late Sen. Ted Stevens was unveiled Wednesday at the U.S. Capitol. With members of the Stevens family on hand, it was an opportunity to reflect on the senator who represented Alaska from 1968 to 2009.

“With this grand portrait, he returns to the Senate, and he will remain here for decades to come,” said Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas.

He recalled Stevens as a pragmatist who worked well with Democrats. Roberts said Stevens sometimes lost patience with Republican colleagues who were more prone to discussions of ideology at party luncheons. 

“One day Ted had enough and shouted ‘When are you going to understand without Democrat votes, we can’t pass appropriations bills?'” Roberts said. “He left the room, slammed the door so hard that (the late Sen.) Mike Mansfield’s portrait almost fell to the floor.”

The portrait shows Stevens at the window of his office in the Capitol, reading a document, with the National Mall and the Washington Monument as a majestic backdrop.

The artist is Dean Larson, who grew up in Palmer and was once an intern in Stevens’ office. Larson painted a different portrait of Stevens in 2012 for the state Capitol.

Stevens died in a plane crash in 2010.