Art in the White House


The Avenue in the Rain by Childe Hassam (1917), depicting Fifth Avenue in New York City, has hung in the Oval Office during Bill Clinton's, Barack Obama's, Donald Trump's and Joe Biden's administrations.

The White House's art collection, sometimes also called the White House Collection or Pride of the American Nation,[1] has grown over time from donations from descendants of the Founding Fathers to commissions by established artists.[2] It comprises paintings, sculptures, and other art forms.[3]At times, the collection grows from a president's specific request, such as when Ronald Reagan began collecting the work of naval artist Tom Freeman in 1986, a tradition that continued through the Obama years.[4]

The White House's Art collection was established by an Act of Congress in 1961 and grew extensively during the Kennedy Administration.[5] It now includes more than 65,000 objects if individual items are catalogued.[6] As of 2021, there are more than 500 pieces on view under the care of the White House Curator and the White House Historical Association,[7] and these are often complemented by those on loan from museums.[8][6][9]

See also


  1. ^ "Art in the White House". Retrieved 9 March 2021.
  2. ^ "Art for the President's House: An Historical Perspective (Early - Middle 1800's)". Retrieved 9 March 2021.
  3. ^ "Diversity in White House Art". WHHA (en-US). Retrieved 9 March 2021.
  4. ^ "Reagan to Obama: Naval Art in the White House". U.S. Naval Institute. 1 February 2009. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
  5. ^ Taubman, Howard (20 July 1967). "Art in the White House; Quality Portraits of the First Ladies And Americana Are Sought for Mansion (Published 1967)". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
  6. ^ a b Wecker, Menachem (5 February 2018). "Beyond the Golden Toilet: How Does Art End Up in the White House, and What Does It Tell Us About Our Leaders?". Artnet News. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
  7. ^ Kloss, William; Bolger, Doreen; Curry, David Park; Monkman, Betty; Wilmerding, John (1992). Art in the White House: A Nation's Pride. White House Historical Association. ISBN 978-0-8109-3965-3. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
  8. ^ Bednarz, Christine (31 October 2012). "When President Becomes Curator: Art in the White House". MutualArt. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
  9. ^ "Art in the White House". White House Historical Association. Retrieved 9 March 2021.

External links

  • The White House Collection