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The Obamas Commission An Art Gallery

In the midst of all of our fixation on Detroit, Cindy Adams got a little scoop: art news from the White House.

renovated-oval-officeWriting in her column for the New York Post, Adams disclosed that President and Michelle Obama have decided to turn their “plain, family-style” first-floor dining room into an art gallery. Adams isn’t sure she likes what she knows:

First Families redo their private quarters, but redesigning a 21st-century art gallery according to your own taste is A) fraught with peril, B) not done before and C) ain’t anyone mentioning how this non-sequestrianized project gets paid for.

Good question, that last one. A bigger one is what the Obamas will put in the gallery. Other than giving the general notion that it will be contemporary art, we will have to wait to see.

In any case, they seem to have hired Santa Monica-based designer Michael Smith to do the job. They also used Smith to redo the Oval Office and the private quarters of the White House starting in January 2009, right after Obama was first elected. (More on that at the Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal.) As I recall, many people thought his Oval Office was bland, far from an improvement, pictured here.

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