Obama's Inclusive Message Extends to White House Walls

Call for art includes minority painters, abstract works
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 22, 2009 12:17 PM CDT
Paintings from Josef Albers's series "Homage to the Square," some of which the Obamas will be borrowing to display in the White House.   (©Kent Wang)
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(Newser) – More change is coming to Washington, and this time it’s aesthetic. President Obama’s request for works from African-American, Hispanic, and female artists to adorn the White House walls stems from a desire to “round out the permanent collection” and “give new voices” to non-traditional or low-profile artists, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Aside from bolstering Obama’s political message of inclusiveness, the White House’s borrowing of new works will likely drive up their value. The Obamas have long been fans of modern art, and the administration included support for the National Endowment for the Arts in its budget. The White House’s permanent art collection focuses on works from the 18th and 19th centuries.