‘She Was Everyone’s Grandmother’: Washington Art Exhibit Honors Betty White


WASHINGTON — Fans from all over the D.C. metropolitan area showed up for a special art exhibit celebrating the life of the iconic actor Betty White.

The Betty White Unites exhibit, which includes nearly 20 pieces of original artwork honoring the late “Golden Girls” actor, was the brainchild of Margery Goldberg, owner of Zenith Gallery, a fine arts gallery located in her private home in northwest Washington.

Goldberg, who has been an art curator for over 40 years, called a number of artists and commissioned artwork honoring White. A longtime fan of the actor, she was inspired to put together an exhibit celebrating White after “so much division” in the country.

“People always say everybody loves Betty White. I just thought, this country has been so unbelievably divided,” Goldberg told HuffPost. “I thought [the exhibit] would be something that unites people.”

The Betty White Unites exhibit at Zenith Gallery in Washington, D.C.
The Betty White Unites exhibit at Zenith Gallery in Washington, D.C.

As soon as you walk into Zenith Gallery, you are immediately greeted by a host of paintings, drawings and other works of art inside. The Betty White Unites exhibit is on the lower level of the house, and you pass several beautiful paintings on the way down the steps.

The artwork — a mix of paintings, jewelry, sculptures and drawings — was created by several local and national artists. Each piece in the exhibit is for sale. Fans of the comedian can view art from Brad Stevens, one of the nation’s top realist painters whose work can be found in the National Portrait Gallery, or Jennifer Wagner, an award-winning artist who created a mosaic of White from the glass of a TV screen.

“She was everyone’s grandmother. And her ability to be real and off-the-cuff, that’s how we should all live our lives,” Wagner said, noting that her piece took three days to make. “We shouldn’t say, ‘Now I have to step into this box, because I’m this age.’ You should be real, and that’s why everybody loves her.”

Jennifer Wagner's mosaic of Betty White, made from the glass of a TV screen.
Jennifer Wagner’s mosaic of Betty White, made from the glass of a TV screen.

The exhibit is free for all and will be on display until Jan. 29.

“I used to watch ‘Golden Girls’ with my grandmother. ‘Back in St. Olaf!’ That was one of her favorite lines. And eating cheesecake with my grandmother,” said Brittany Fooks, one of the early visitors to the exhibit. “I love Betty White.”

White died on Dec. 31, 2021, just a few weeks short of her 100th birthday. With a storied career of over 80 years, the actor is perhaps best known for her roles as Rose Nylund on “The Golden Girls” from 1985 to 1992 and as Sue Ann Nivens on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” from 1973 to 1977.

“Betty White: 100 Years Young—A Birthday Celebration,” a documentary about her life that was planned for what would have been her 100th birthday, will still be released in theaters on Jan. 17.

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