How will the Obama Administration choose to address ideas of cultural equity?  A recent article indicates that the Obamas are taking it into consideration. With the White House merely a few blocks away from the National Museum of  Women in the Arts, one might hope that the Obamas will consider looking for more works by women.  On the whole, the Obamas are in step with the Kennedys ideas when it comes to careful consideration of the arts and culture and how the residents of the White House can use their own art choices to make a public statement.

“Working with curators at the White House and at the local museums that made loans, the First Couple selected some works whose politics are explicit, and mild. They seem to redress past imbalances in the nation’s sense of its own art. There are works by African Americans (seven paintings from three artists, out of a total of 47) and by Native Americans (four artists contributed three modern ceramics and one abstract painting). There are also 12 paintings depicting Native Americans, by the 19th-century ethnographic artist George Catlin.

But there are still only six works by women, vs. 41 by men. And there are no works at all by Latinos. (A work by the deceased Cuban American artist Félix González-Torres would have filled the gap perfectly, and added a nod to the country’s gay culture. The Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum has one that could have been borrowed.)”


Alma Thomas, Watusi (Hard Edge), 1963

“The politics in at least one of the new choices is strong and direct as could be. “Black Like Me #2,” on loan from the Hirshhorn, is by Glenn Ligon, one of the best African American artists working today, and also one of the smartest and toughest.” link to full article

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