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Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
January 7, 2009


Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and National Endowment for the Humanities Launch International Tour of "Picturing America" Exhibition

Mrs. Laura Bush today announced the launch of the international tour of “Picturing America,” sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Thus far, over 35 U.S. embassies around the world have requested the exhibition, which offers international audiences the opportunity to experience history’s common thread of humanity and to better understand America through the eyes of great American artists.

Composed of 40 high-quality reproductions of significant American art — including paintings, fine crafts, sculpture, photography and architecture — Picturing America showcases America’s artistic heritage with masterpieces spanning several centuries. Each offers unique insights into the country’s character, ideals, and aspirations. The featured artists range from early American Indian artisans to painters Mary Cassatt and Thomas Hart Benton, from photographers Walker Evans and Dorothea Lange to architects Frank Lloyd Wright and William Van Alen.

Created by the National Endowment for the Humanities as an innovative way to learn about the United States, Picturing America is a catalyst to study the cultural, political, and historical threads woven into the national fabric. The touring exhibition’s framed images are complemented by sets of the reproductions for presentation to foreign not-for-profit and learning institutions to use in conjunction with a Teachers Resource Book and a web site providing resources and information regarding the art, the artists and their historical context.

The announcement by Mrs. Bush today at Blair House in Washington, DC, was part of a celebration of the Global Cultural Initiative, hosted by Ambassador Nancy Goodman Brinker, Chief of Protocol, in cooperation with James Glassman, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. Mrs. Bush launched the Global Cultural Initiative on September 25, 2006, to build on and mobilize the vast talents and resources of America's cultural institutions in support of international cultural diplomacy. Though partnerships between U.S. government and private sector cultural agencies and institutions, this initiative has leveraged a broad range of resources to highlight the importance of the arts and humanities to America as a platform for international engagement.

For more information about Picturing America, visit http://picturingamerica.neh.gov. For information about Cultural Programs of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, visit http://exchanges.state.gov/cultural/index.html.

Media Contacts: David C. Grier, 202-203-7007, GrierDC@state.gov
Catherine Stearns, 202-203-5107, StearnsCL@state.gov
Lindsey Mikal, 202-606-8317, LMikal@neh.gov

2009/016


Released on January 7, 2009

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