Art in Embassies

Among the many forward-minded initiatives launched by the all-too-brief administration of President John F. Kennedy, the Art in Embassies program is one that has quietly been spreading the gospel of art since its establishment by the Department of State in 1963. At its core, the program creates vital cross-cultural dialogue and fosters mutual understanding through the visual arts and dynamic artist exchanges.   The Art in Embassies office helps newly appointed ambassadors choose American works of art to exhibit in the rooms of the embassy residence where they entertain and receive guests.  Art in Embassies develops and presents approximately 60 exhibitions per year and has installed over 70 permanent art collections in more than 200 of the Department’s diplomatic facilities in 189 countries. “Working with over 20,000 participants globally, including artists, museums, collectors, and galleries,” wrote then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (2014) “this landmark public-private partnership shares the work of more than 200 U.S. Embassies and Consulates around the world.”

US Ambassador to Slovakia Bridget Brink, together with the Art in Embassies curator, selected several of her favorite pieces from different artists for her residence. One of those artists is Andy Warhol, world renowned pop art artist, whose works were borrowed from the Andy Warhol Museum of Modern Art in Medzilaborce. Ambassador Brink also chose to highlight exceptional works by female artists and art from artists from her home state of Michigan. These artists include Amy Vensel, Chester Don Powell, or Ellie Harold. She also picked arts depicting nature and national parks because her love to nature and outdoor activities is what connects herself and her family to Slovakia.

We would like to thank the artists’ community and everyone else who shared this experience with us.