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Diversity in White House Art: Jacob Lawrence

Jacob Lawrence, one of the twentieth century’s most celebrated Black artists, is remembered for his vivid portrayals of the Black experience in America. Lawrence was born in New Jersey on September 7, 1917, and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Harlem, New York. While taking art classes at Harlem’s Utopia Children’s Center and Harlem Art Workshop, Lawrence trained under prominent leader

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Japanese Silk Panels at the Decatur House

Inside the Decatur House’s California Room hangs a series of remarkable nineteenth-century Japanese silk panels that depict the changing seasons. The paintings, created by Japanese artist Utagawa Kunitsuru, were signed by the artist in 1872. They came to Decatur House sometime between this signing date and their first mention in a Washington Capital newspaper article in late 1873, which noted that th

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Patricia Nixon's Visitor Friendly White House

Not long after she became First Lady, Pat Nixon was asked what she planned to focus on in her new role. Her response was simple: “People are my project.”1Mrs. Nixon did not want to be constrained by selecting one specific project. Instead, she wanted the latitude to pursue various projects that directly helped people.As First Lady, Mrs. Nixon trav

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President Eisenhower: The Painter

The only true response to art is to look with an eye like that of a child: unprejudiced, unbiased, clear, and uncommitted. When it is the art of a celebrity, this ideal, always almost unobtainable, becomes progressively difficult. Can we see the work in the dazzle of the artist’s aura? When the paintings of Noel Coward come to auction, th

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Sculpture, Bribery, and the Founding Fathers

During his short time in America, Italian neoclassical sculptor Giuseppe Ceracchi created approximately thirty-six marble busts of prominent men including Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington, earning him a place as one of the most prolific sculptors in early American history. In particular he is known for a neoclassical bust of George Washington, currently part of the