There’s nothing better than some good ol’ fashion toilet humor — especially when it involves the White House. As we learned yesterday, the Guggenheim Museum has reportedly turned down a request by President Trump to borrow a Van Gogh painting. It did, however, offer a solid, gold toilet as an alternative.
Initially reported on by The Washington Post, the first couple had their eyes set on Landscape With Snow (1888), believed to be one of Van Gogh’s first paintings that he made in Arles in Southern France. It depicts a man and a dog walking together through a snowy plain.
In response to the request, Guggenheim’s chief curator, Nancy Spector, stated in an email that the museum no longer had the work — it was being moved for an exhibition in Spain — and that instead it could offer a long-term loan of its 18-carat, fully functional toilet.
Maurizio Cattelan “America”, 2016 Gold, 72.4 x 35.6 x 68.6 cm Courtesy Marian Goodman Gallery © Maurizio Cattelan
Installation view: Maurizio Cattelan: “America”, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, September 16, 2016–ongoing
Photo: Kris McKay © Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation.
The shiny throne, entitled “America,” was crafted by Italian artist, Maurizio Cattelan, and is estimated to have cost more than $1 million to produce. It was installed in the Guggenheim museum in September 2016, part of a year-long exhibition, which allowed visitors to actually use the toilet.
In the September 15 email, which a museum spokesperson has confirmed to the Daily News and The Post to be authentic, Spector wrote that “America” was available, “should the President and First Lady have any interest in installing it in the White House”.
“It is, of course, extremely valuable and somewhat fragile, but we would provide all the instructions for its installation and care,” she also added. According to Cattelan, the inspiration for the installation came before Trump’s rise, but the idea for “it was probably in the air,” he said to the Guggenheim.
Next, check out The Top 11 Most Fascinating Public Bathrooms in NYC.