Street portraits sit in Germantown studio, await unveiling

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Garth Herrick poses with Street portraits in his Germantown studio. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

Garth Herrick poses with Street portraits in his Germantown studio. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

Two portraits of former Philadelphia Mayor John Street have been sitting in storage for more than three years, and it’s  not clear how long it will be before they are put on a wall at City Hall.  

Artist Garth Herrick, who has painted portraits of former Mayor Ed Rendell and many Philadelphia and U.S. judges, said  Street wasn’t the easiest person with whom he’s worked.

“It took a while to have him come around to having his portrait painted, but, finally, in December of 2011, we had a 10-minute meeting set up,” he said.

Herrick says he had just one sitting with Street.

“I finally got him into a studio I had on Spring Garden Street,” the artist said. “He agreed to sit initially for about five minutes and I got him to stay a few minutes longer.”

Herrick painted two portraits, which were completed in mid-2013; one is for the Mayor’s Reception Room and the other — of a younger Street as City Council president — is meant for for Council’s caucus room.

Although he’s been paid for more than $30,000 for the paintings, they remain in storage at Herrick’s studio.

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