Resurrection by Alma Thomas

Don’t miss this when you are going on an official tour of the White House in Washington, DC.

  • Artist: Alma Thomas
  • Date of Work: 1966
  • Medium: Acrylic and Graphite
  • Type: Painting
  • Credit: White House Collection/White House Historical Association

This acrylic and graphite on canvas painting was done by Alma Thomas, who was an educator and artist in Washington, D.C. for most of her career. She was a member of the Washington Color School. This painting was unveiled as part of the White House Collection during Black History Month 2015 and is the first in this collection by an African-American woman. This painting was acquired for the White House Collection with support from George B. Hartzog, Jr., and the White House Acquisition Trust/White House Historical Association.

White House Historical Association

Read Obama’s remarks at the unveiling of the new Old Family Dining Room

Michelle Obama wrote in her book “Becoming”:

We were the forty-forth First Family and only the eleventh family to spend two full terms in the White House. We were, and would always be, the first black one. I hoped that when future parents brought their children to visit, the way I’d brought Malia and Sasha when their father was a senator, they’d be able to point out some reminder of our family’s time here: I thought it was important to register our presence within the larger history of the place.

Not every president commissioned an official china setting, for instance, but I made sure we did. During Barack’s second term, we also chose to redecorate the Old Family Dining Room, situated just off the State Dining Room, freshening up with a modern look and opening it to the public for the first time. One the room’s north wall, we’d hung a stunning yellow, red, and blue abstract by Alma Thomas – Resurrection – which became the first work of art by a black woman to be added to the White House’s permanent collection.

Michelle Obama, “Becomming”

As it’s mentioned in above quote from the book here is a photo of the Obama White House China set.

“The First Lady chose a blue inspired by the waters off the President’s home state of Hawai’i, calling it ‘Kailua Blue.'” Obama Archives

Art Travel in Washington, DC

My favorite art destinations in Washington, DC:

What are yours? Share your favorite visual art spots in the comments, please!

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