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Obamas bring modern art to White House

Following tradition, President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama picked pieces of art from the nation’s federal museums to decorate the first family’s private White House quarters.
Working closely with their White House decorator, Los Angeles–based interior designer Michael Smith, they chose approximately 45 works — ranging from an Edgar Degas dancer in bronze to an Ed Ruscha word painting — taken from the National Gallery of Art, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The majority were chosen and installed before the Obamas settled in, but a list of works was
just released this week.
“The Obamas wanted some great modern and contemporary art in their private quarters,” said Harry Cooper, curator of modern and contemporary art at the National Gallery of Art, who worked with Smith and longtime White House curator Bill Allman to make the selections. Other recent first families hung a few modern pieces in their living quarters, but none approached the scope of the Obamas, Allman told AP.
This 1940s painting, Flower to Teacher, is by William H. Johnson.