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Diversity in White House Art: Isamu Noguchi

Isamu Noguchi was one of the most innovative and prolific sculptors of the twentieth century. He was born on November 17, 1904 in Los Angeles, California, to an American mother and a Japanese father and spent most of his childhood in Japan. When he was thirteen, his mother sent him to Indiana to receive an American education.1After graduating from high school,


American Voices in the White House Collection

The White House is more than just a home and office for the President of the United States, it is also a museum housing a large collection of art. As the nation has grown and changed, so has the White House Collection. Explore the White House Collection and its uniquely American stories from diverse and innovative artists.


Gilbert Stuart

Gilbert Stuart is one of the most famous portraitists in American history, best known for his unfinished Athenaeum depiction of President George Washington. Gilbert Stuart was born in Saunderstown, Rhode Island on December 3, 1755, the youngest of three children. His family moved to Newport, Rhode Island a few years later, and Stuart began painting as a teenager. He initially studied under


Diversity in White House Art: Georgia O'Keeffe

Georgia O’Keeffe’s captivating flower paintings and Southwestern landscapes have made her one of the world’s most recognizable modern artists. O’Keeffe was born on November 15, 1887, and raised in Wisconsin. Throughout her childhood, she took art lessons at home with her siblings and later attended lessons at the School of The Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Virgi


Diversity in White House Art: Henry Ossawa Tanner

Henry Ossawa Tanner was one of the most distinguished Black artists of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Despite his immense success, Tanner’s life story reveals the challenges faced by many Black artists. He was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on June 21, 1859. His mother, Sarah Tanner, was a formerly enslaved woman who escaped to freedom on the Underground Railroad, while his fa


Diversity in White House Art: Greta Kempton

Greta Kempton (born Martha Greta Kempton) was born in 1903 in Vienna, Austria. She discovered painting early on, completing her first painting at the age of nine—a portrait of her sleeping governess. Kempton studied at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts and the Vienna National Academy of Design before emigrating to the United States in 1926 with her young daughter, Daisy. In


Diversity in White House Art: Simmie Knox

On June 14, 2004, the official portraits of President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton were unveiled in the East Room of the White House. These paintings made history as the first official White House portraits created by a Black artist, Simmie Knox.


Diversity in White House Art: Alma Thomas

On October 14, 2016, First Lady Michelle Obama hosted a reception celebrating the recent renovation of the Old Family Dining Room, located on the State Floor of the White House. After welcoming her guests, Mrs. Obama delivered remarks about the space, including the addition of twentieth-century abstract artwork by diverse artists: As many of you know, the President and I, we are