Alma Thomas Painting Features in The White House Bedecked for 2021 Holidays

  • December 01, 2021 11:49

  • Email
Vermeil Room, White House, "Gift of the Visual Arts," 2021 Holiday Decorations
White House

First Lady Jill Biden unveiled the 2021 White House holiday decorations on Monday with the theme, “Gifts from the Heart.” Decor was chosen to reflect values that “tie together the heart strings of our lives,” explained Biden, including peace and unity, the arts and learning, nature and gratitude, and more.

Rooms were decorated thematically by more than 100 volunteers over a week, with approximately 6,000 feet of ribbon, 300 candles, 10,000 ornaments and over 78,750 holiday lights.

The White House website states that the theme is meant to evoke "acts of kindness and experiences that lifted our spirits this year and throughout the pandemic."

Red Room, White House, "Gift of the Performing Arts," 2021 Holiday Decorations.
White House

The Vermeil (French for "gilded silver") Room represents the “Gift of the Visual Arts” with a Christmas tree adorned with mulitcolored ornaments to note the diversity of American artists. On display is a portrait of White House Historical Association founder and former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy and a vibrant abstract painting by Alma Thomas (1891-1978) on an easel.

Acquired for the White House Collection under the Obama administration, and initially hung in the Old Family Dining Room, Thomas's Resurrection, 1966, is the first work by a female African-American artist to enter the collection.

The acrylic and graphite on canvas painting titled Resurrection, by Alma Thomas, 1966. White House Collection/White House Historical Association

Thomas is currently being celebrated at cultural and educational institutions across Washington, DC, with a variety of programs and events, including a major exhibition at The Phillips Collection.

With beginnings in semi-rural Georgia and later deep ties in Washington, DC, Thomas’s legacy includes groundbreaking moments. She was the first graduate of Howard University’s art department in 1924, the first Black woman to have a solo show at New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art in 1972, and the first Black woman to have a work featured in the White House collection in 2015. 

The major retrospective at The Phillips, which coincides with what would have been Thomas’s 130th birthday, features over 150 artworks as well as historical documents from public and private US museums and collections, offering an inspiring look at Thomas’s rich and beautiful life.

Read more at See photos of 2021 White House Holiday Decorations

Tags: american art

  • Email

More News Feed Headlines

Albert Bierstadt, Autumn Woods, Oneida County, State of New York, 1886.  Oil on linen, 54 x 84 in.  New-York Historical Society.  Gift of Mrs.  Albert Bierstadt, 1910.11

Hudson River School Landscapes On View Alongside Frederick Law Olmsted Bicentennial Events

  • ArtfixDaily / January 18th, 2022

Connecticut's New Britain Museum of American Art (NBMAA) will present The Poetry of Nature: Hudson River School ...

Read More...
“Fruits of Pennsylvania” by Doris Lee, 1946-47.  Oil on canvas, 35¼ by 28 inches.  The Penn Art Collection, University of Pennsylvania.  ©Estate of Doris Lee, Courtesy D.  Wigmore Fine Art, Inc.  Photo Candace diCarlo.

Long Overlooked, Leading 20th-Century American Artist Doris Lee Is Celebrated Once Again in Traveling Exhibition

  • ArtfixDaily / January 18th, 2022

Pennsylvania's Westmoreland Museum of American Art premiered Simple Pleasures: The Art of Doris Lee, which is ...

Read More...
"Wall of Light Orange Yellow," 2000, by Sean Scully.  Oil on linen, 9 x 11 feet.  Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin: Donated by the artist, 2006.  Collection & image courtesy of Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin.  © Sean Scully.

Major Survey of Sean Scully Is Expanded for Philadelphia Museum of Art Exhibition This Spring

  • ArtfixDaily / January 17th, 2022

The Philadelphia Museum of Art will present a major survey of Irish-born American artist Sean Scully, featuring ...

Read More...
Georgia O’Keeffe, From the Plains I, 1953.  Oil on canvas.  Collection of the McNay Art Museum, Gift of the Estate of Tom Slick, 1973.22.  © Georgia O'Keeffe Museum/ Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

'Georgia O’Keeffe and American Modernism' Opens at the McNay Art Museum

  • ArtfixDaily / January 17th, 2022

Opening Friday, January 21, at the McNay Art Museum, in San Antonio, Texas, Georgia O’Keeffe and American Modernism ...

Read More...

ARTFIXdaily Artwire