April 4, 2012
White House Opened Up To Google Art Project
The Google Art Project has opened up many museums around the world for global visitors who are unable to visit and gaze upon the great works available. Now, according to USA Today, the White House has been opened up by the Obamas as a virtual museum where people can visit online and observe the great works of art available there.
Mrs. Obama says in a video for the Google Art Project, “The White House isn´t simply a home to first families or meeting space for world leaders it´s also known as “the People´s House,´ a place that should be open to everyone. And that´s why we´ve made it a priority to invite young people, military families, and American of all ages to join us here at the White House.”
According to the official press release over 2.5 million people have visited The White House since the Obamas entered the residence now “millions more will be able virtually visit the White House.”
The virtual tour explores the public rooms, halls and famous artworks of the White House, with a small number of rooms getting the Google Street View 360 degree view.
Visitors will be able to view the gilded sconces in the hallways or samples of Leno and Haviland china that was brought in by Ulysses S. Grant and Abraham Lincoln, the soup bowl brought in by Grant contains orange flowers instead of a state seal.
Other important pieces on the tour include a 1799 steel and mother-of-pearl saber that was “Commissioned by French volunteers who had served in the American Revolution for George Washington, but not presented prior to his death.” The US government took possession of the treasure in 1933.
Another important piece, according to ABC News, is a portrait photo of Grace Coolidge, the wife of Calvin Coolidge. In the portrait she is wearing a red sleeveless flapper dress and is standing next to a white dog. There are two versions of the portrait one where she is in front of a white background and another where she is standing on the White House lawn. These were both painted by Howard Chandler Christy in 1924.
The painting is important because it shows how progressive Grace Coolidge was in her fashion choices in her day, daring to bare her arms, according to Feather Schwartz Foster author of “The First Ladies”. It would not be until after the second world war when Mamie Eisenhower and Jackie Kennedy would popularize the “new look” of bare arms in daytime dresses and sportswear.