Oops! Obamas Overlooked:

The First Family's forty four works of art, borrowed from several Washington Museums to spiff up The White House, run the gamut from humorous and self-reflective -- Ed Rusha's "I Think I'll...", to pedantic -- Edgar Degas "The Bow" (yawn!); from rather nerdy -- "The Electric Telegraph patent model, May 1, 1849" by Samuel F.B. Morse, to perhaps inspirational but definitely Depressing -- "Portrait of President Harry S. Truman" by Frank O. Salisbury. 

Please, don't get me wrong. The Obama's made some great picks. 

Especially considering George W's juvenalia, which preceded: generic paintings of cowboys and Indians, and war loot from the capture of Saddaam Hussein. Nonetheless, art critics whine: Not enough women arists! Not enough black artists! So, I thought it a fun exercise to make a few suggestions for the re-decoration of The Oval Office -- the old, the new, and the in-between, each inherently American. And so here they are:

Wildfire Mary Edmonia Lewis (ca. 1843-1911) studied sculpture in Paris and was of African and Native American descent. Her "Portrait of a Woman" would make a fantastic mate to Kehinde Wiley's  homage to Bernini called "Louis XVI, The Sun King". Arrange them on the mantlepiece, Michelle!

William "Bill" Traylor (ca. 1854-1949), born into slavery in Alabama, was a prolific artist whose exuberant "Untitled" dancing woman prefigures, by nearly a century, Jean-Paul Goude's genuis, pre-Photoshop-era collage portrait of Grace JonesCall for a step ladder, a hammer and nails, Mr. President!