President Obama has swapped out a rare copy of the Emancipation Proclamation for two paintings by renowned American artist Edward Hopper in a minor redecoration of the Oval Office.
The copy of the famed executive order signed by President Lincoln was removed to prevent damage from further exposure to light, the White House said in a blog post on Monday.
According to the White House, the paintings were completed between 1930 and 1933 while Hopper was summering in Cape Cod.
“Emblematic examples of his work, the two paintings lent by the Whitney Museum capture the strong sense of atmosphere and light as well as the empty stillness that characterize much of Hopper’s imagery,” the White House said. “They also demonstrate Hopper’s fascination with the various forms of this country’s vernacular architecture -- a subject he would return to again and again, resulting in some of the most enduring images of American art.”
Hopper’s paintings join portraits of Lincoln and George Washington, as well as paintings by Thomas Moran, Childe Hassam, and Normal Rockwell hanging in the Oval Office.
The Emancipation Proclamation copy was installed in the Oval Office in 2010, ahead of Obama’s first Martin Luther King Jr. day in the White House, and was originally slated to remain in the workspace for only six months. The original remains in the National Archives.