Art for the White House


“Watusi (Hard Edge)” by African-American artist Alma Thomas, now on display in the East Wing of the White House.

The Obama family’s ongoing work to redecorate the White House is drawing international attention, particularly for what they’re hanging on the walls.

The White House is now home to more modern and abstract artwork than ever before, from Jasper Johns and Mark Rothko to lesser-known artists such as Alma Thomas, an African-American abstract painter of the 1960s and 1970s (see above).

In addition, the first family is choosing artwork that represents much of the country’s history – including native american pottery – and ingenuity, represented by models for a telegraph register, a gear-cutting machine and a paddlewheel for a steamboat.

So if you moved into the White House, what art would you surround yourself with?