The student blog for Drake University first year seminar entitled Visual Politics

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

            On August 31st, the NY times published a piece about President Obama’s new oval office décor. The president has chosen earth tones and various natural fabrics. He had the furniture reupholstered, designed a new rug with the presidential seal accompanied with five of his favorite quotes, along with new gold and yellow striped wallpaper.
            In January of last year the president announced that he saw no need to redecorate the office, he was satisfied with it as is. The new décor adds a softer feel to the office. The office now looks inviting, a white house historian William Seale commented that “the room has been calmed down, [It is] more welcoming to a person entering it…” President Obama felt it necessary to keep the historical integrity of the room in tact by keeping the portraits of Lincoln and Washington and long with the grandfather clock.  He kept the some pieces untouched like the famed presidential desk from Queen Victoria, “With the exception of Johnson, Nixon and Ford, every president since Hayes has used it…” and Obama will continue this tradition.
            The new rug that president Obama designed has five of his favorite quotes that hold great meaning to him, four from past presidents and one from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The home section of the NY times asked designers their opinion of the oval offices new décor “Overall, I think the Oval Office redesign is consistent with the president’s message, [if he had] chosen a redo that was ostentatious, showy or over the top [it would not have reflected well on our current economic situation]” (Sheila Bridges) The president has designed a simple, calm and inviting office with the assistance of designer Michael Smith.-Caroline Salozzo 


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  2. Caroline, I thought that the observations you had and the depictions of the room you had were very good. However I do not see how his new decoration of the room symbolize his presidency. Does the earthy tones that he used with the furniture and rug represent the plans he has to protect the earth? Zac Stevens