Emperor Haile Selassie of Abyssinia with Dr Chalmers Mitchell. 1924
The Nigerian Chiefs watching the Lord Mayor of London
arrive for the election of Sheriffs at the Guildhall. 1934
Burma Round Table Conference at St James Palace.
The Sawbwa of Hsipaw and his wife. 1932
Official reception at the India Office by the secretary of state for India Sir Samuel Hoare
and Lady Maude Hoare; Princess Indira and Sir P. Pattana. 1933
Dakoman, the masked safe breaker and his manager, Mr Mortimer.
St James Palace Garden Party in aid of the League of Mercy.
Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone, and Lady Alexander. 1920
Tibetan lamas , appearing with the Mount Everest Film at the Scale. 1925
Diana and Daphne Chamberlain twins, with "Messa Mascot" and "Messa Marksman". 1934
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 Jones. Call for a step ladder, a hammer and nails, Mr. President!
Any old fool knows that a "piece" is street vernacular for a gun. But "piece" is also a louche term for a prime sexual encounter, as in: "I got me a piece at lunchtime."
Therefore it makes a lot of sense, to me anyway, that devastatingly handsome Norwegian explorer, scientist and diplomat Fridtjof Wedel-Jarlsberg Nansen (1861 - 1930) was awarded the Nobel Piece Prize in 1922.