Portraits of Courage Exhibit Hero Spotlight: Scott Lilley

by | May 13, 2024 | Exhibits, News

Staff Sergeant Scott P. Lilley While the majority of the portraits in the Portraits of Courage exhibit are headshot paintings there are a few exceptions including the portrait of Scott Lilley. This painting shows Scott as a proud father gazing upon his daughter. President Bush explains that he first met Scott’s parents when he was being treated at a military hospital and not expected to survive.  Years later, he was participating in the Bush Institute’s first golf tournament for wounded warriors. 

Scott still has a piece of shrapnel lodged in the left side of his brain which affects his short-term memory, but his attitude reveals a lot about his character. He says, “It’s not the end of the world. Keep a smile on your face. New doors will open and guide you in the right direction.” In 2015, President Bush received a call from Scott asking him to meet his young daughter, MiKaylie Rayne Lilley.

As I painted the proud father and daughter together, I thought about Scott’s brush with death and the new life born from his perseverance.

- President George W. Bush

Courtesy of President George W. Bush

Portraits of Courage will be on exhibit at the Nixon Library for its West Coast debut through May 19, 2024, thanks to the generosity of Lisa Argyros / Argyros Family Foundation. Tickets to the special exhibit are included with admission to the Nixon Library.

Portraits of Courage by President George W. Bush is on loan from the Argyros Collection at the George W. Bush Presidential Center, a non-profit whose work includes helping veterans and their families make successful transitions to civilian life.