After six years in the White House, Michelle Obama has finally embarked on a major redecorating project for the late 18th-century neoclassical mansion on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The First Lady decided to set a striking, contemporary tone for the Old Family Dining Room, a small room for private events that is adjacent to the official State Dining Room. The room, which was previously furnished with Kennedy-era antiques and painted yellow, now has gray walls hung with bold modern artworks by Robert Rauschenberg, Josef Albers, Anni Albers, and Alma Thomas, whose 1966 painting "Resurrection" is the first work by an African-American woman to be incorporated into the White House's permanent collection. Ms. Obama also added burgundy window treatments and bronze sconces.
Ms. Obama has mixed these newer items with a selection of fine antiques, including a mahogany table dating to 1800, when construction on the White House was completed. There is also a collection of rare china and glassware from the 1939 New York World's Fair, and a mirror from 1902 that was purchased by the Roosevelt administration. This room was previously closed to the public, but has now been added to the official White House tour.
"It is very respectful of the past yet embraces today," Architectural Digest's editor, Margaret Russell, told the Washington Post. "The punch of art is just extraordinary. It's elegant, fresh and full of life."
· Michelle Obama redecorated a White House room — and it's much more modern [Washington Post]
· All First Family coverage [Curbed National]
· All White House coverage [Curbed National]