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Eisenhower paintings are exhibited in the Bradley Co. Museum

Dwight D. Eisenhower was, of course, a president and a soldier but he was also an artist.

Mark Flynn, the Columbus State University librarian, said Eisenhower began painting at age 58 when he was president of Columbia University.

As soon as he finished a painting, he would give it away. Because of that, only about 250 paintings are known to exist, Flynn said.

Some are currently on display at W.C. Bradley Co. Museum.

Flynn said the exhibit highlights Eisenhower's friendships.

Maj. Gen. Howard Snyder, Eisenhower's doctor first suggested that Eisenhower take up painting to relieve stress. Snyder's best friend was painter Thomas Stephens, who painted portraits of presidents, generals and other dignitaries, both in American and other countries.

Snyder's grandson, Tom, lives in Columbus, and is sharing his collection of 12 of Einsenhower's paintings with the exhibit. Two other Eisenhower paintings are on loan from Cathy Bickerstaff's collection, Flynn said.

It's significant that the exhibit is at the W.C. Bradley Co. Museum because Eisenhower came up with the Zebco name. Zebco is the company that makes fishing paraphernalia that the Bradley Co. owns.

Dan Crosswell, the Col. Richard R. Hallock Distinguised University Chair in Military History and Geography at Columbus State University, has done a lot of research on Eisenhower.

He found that British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was a painter and was a big influence on Eisenhower.

"I am really, really thrilled to be here" with the exhibit in the Bradley Co. Museum, Flynn said.

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