When a new president moves into the White House, it's typically followed by a flurry of redecorating. The Oval Office gets a fresh look with each sitting president, and other rooms are changed as well. When Donald Trump moved into the White House, he and his wife Melania made a very specific request of the Guggenheim Museum. That's when things took a bit of a turn...
There are 132 rooms and 35 bathrooms in the White House. That’s obviously a lot of decorating. Most of the art and decor remains unchanged between presidents, but plenty of them make requests to switch out particular pieces of art for something else.
The Trump family, as you can see, has a very...particular aesthetic.
The picture above is of Donald Trump in the foyer of his personal home back in 1987.
(To be fair, everything was over-the-top in the ’80s.)
So it may come as a surprise to you that upon moving into the White House, the Trumps requested this painting for their private living quarters:
It’s “Landscape with Snow” by Vincent Van Gogh.
The painting is currently held as part of the Guggenheim’s art collection, which is why the Trumps requested the loan.
But then the Guggenheim was all like:
Nancy Spector, the museum’s curator, had to break the bad news to the president and first lady. “I am sorry to inform you that we are unable to participate in this loan since the painting is part of the museum’s Thannhauser Collection, which is prohibited from travel except for the rarest of occasions,” she wrote in a note recently obtained by the Washington Post.
But Spector did offer the Trumps another piece of art in place of the Van Gogh.
“Fortuitously, a marvelous work by the celebrated contemporary Italian artist, Maurizio Cattelan, is coming off view today after a year’s installation at the Guggenheim, and he would like to offer it to the White House for a long-term loan.”
What great news! And even more fitting, the work of art is called “America.”
So, just what is this “marvelous” work of art? Well…