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Monday, 30 January 2017

What Art did the Obamas bring into the White House?

This month Spotlight wonders at the art in the White House. 
   President Obama and family selected about 45 pieces from state collections, just as most leaders select art works from national holdings to reflect their intentions, ambitions for a nation, and, one may expect, to continue to inspire them to do the right thing in the face of significant adversity with huge responsibility. 
  The new resident has yet to make marks on the walls.  Art choices by leaders can tell us a lot. Here is a smattering of what the Obamas brought into their own endeavours, and maybe spread further into the world.
Catlin and Indian Attacking Buffalo, George Catlin, 1861-69
Catlin was a Philadelphia painter who became the first artist to travel West for the purpose of recording the lives of Native Americans.

Black Like Me No. 2, Glenn Ligon, 1992
For this meditation on race and identity, contemporary artist Glenn Ligon used a sentence from a once famous 1961 memoir by John Howard Griffin, a white man who artificially darkened his skin and travelled the South as an African American.

What do you put up to inspire, to focus your brain and care and energy, to keep you going, and to make hearts soar?
"I Think I'll ...", Ed Ruscha, 1983
Obamas in residence, with art for life.

The future’s bright. The future’s orange.
and maybe explore what has been selected by our British PMs.  These are public resources, influential, and matters of public record.  
Art matters.  
The Ludlow Art Society 

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