Joe Biden presents redesigned Oval Office
The newly elected US President Joe Biden granted a look into the newly designed Oval Office on Wednesday (local time) shortly after his inauguration.
So he had a portrait of Andrew Jackson replaced by a portrait of Benjamin Franklin by Joseph Duplessis, as reported by the broadcaster CNN and other US media. Like other works routinely loaned to the White House, the portrait appears to be on loan from the Smithsonian Institution’s National Gallery of Art, the broadcaster said.
Trump had received severe criticism in November 2017 for honoring the descendants of the Navajo Indians in front of the portrait of Jackson, the seventh President of the United States from 1829 to 1837. Jackson was notorious for his policy of driving the Indians out of their ancestral lands. It led to the “Path of Tears” when around 17,000 Cherokee Indians were forcibly relocated. Several thousand died on the way. The Washington Post reports that the Franklin portrait and a nearby lunar rock set represent Biden’s interest in science.
A bronze bust of Latin American civil rights leader Cesar Chavez, created by artist Paul Suarez, was also placed behind Biden’s desk, according to CNN. Chavez tried to raise awareness of the harsh conditions faced by farm workers in the US and to fight for better wages. The prominent lineup came on the same day that Biden proposed an immigration law that would allow undocumented farm workers to apply for a green card immediately. Julie Chavez Rodriguez, the granddaughter of the labor leader, is Biden’s director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, as the broadcaster said.
The Washington Post also reports that “busts of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy flank an office fireplace” – in an obvious allusion to their efforts in the civil rights movement. There are also busts of Rosa Parks, Eleanor Roosevelt and a sculpture by Allan House. According to the report, paintings of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton and a bust of Daniel Webster can now be found in other parts of the office, a former senator who defended the Union. A bust of Winston Churchill, on the other hand, is said to have been removed from the exhibition.
In the US media, further subtle changes to the facility are pointed out, which are also intended to make the change of time clear. For example, flags of various US military units that Trump originally added to decorate the room were removed. Biden also had a number of family photos put up.