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Keyes portrait to be removed from State House

CONCORD &#-; The Joint Legislative Historical Committee voted to remove the portrait of former Gov. Henry W. Keyes from the second-floor hallway of the State House.

The man in the portrait, which was found in the basement of the Legislative Office Building in 2005, does not resemble earlier portraits of Keyes, particularly those when he served in the U.S. Senate after he was governor.

Research on the portrait indicates the photograph with charcoal drawing is more prevalent in the late 1800s then the early part of the 20th century.

Dean Dexter, whose grandmother knew Keyes's wife, gave the committee a letter from Keyes granddaughter, Frances Parkinson Keyes Keidel, stating the man in the portrait is not her grandfather.

The committee also heard from former state curator Russell Bastedo, who held that position when the Keyes portrait was found and the decision made to hang the portrait with other governors on the second floor of the State House.

Sens. Bob Odell and Lou D'Allesandro agreed to lead the effort to identify the man in the portrait and to work with the Keyes family to locate or commission a portrait of the former governor.

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