Nearly 70 years ago, the Museum of Modern Art first envisioned a worldwide U.S. arts program. It was President John F. Kennedy who, a decade later, established the Art in Embassies program at the U.S. Department of State.
Now, the Art in Embassies program consists of over 200 permanent and temporary art exhibitions in U.S. chanceries, embassies, consulates, and ambassadors’ residences all over the globe. These exhibitions offer incredible opportunities to provide international audiences with a sense of the quality, scope, and diversity of American art.
Art has a remarkable way of encouraging people to converse about the beautiful and not-so-beautiful things in life—to remember those lost, to recall incredible moments and stories in history, and to discuss our values and beliefs. It’s these profound conversations that lead to deeper mutual understanding and stronger friendships. This is the foundation of diplomacy.
Shortly after his arrival in Switzerland, Ambassador McMullen worked with the Art in Embassies program back in Washington to create a unique exhibition for his Official Residence. His selections reflect a range of memories from his early childhood—from fishing and sailing on the Long Island Sound in New York, to enjoying the soothing rhythms of the marsh and ocean tides outside of his South Carolina home in Sulivan’s Island in the mouth of Charleston Harbor.
On Tuesday, September 10, 2019, Ambassador McMullen hosted an Art in Embassies Reception so that local artists, educators, and art enthusiasts could engage with artists and art lovers from the United States while exploring the Art in Embassies exhibit in the Ambassador’s Residence.
If you would like to know more about the Art in Embassies program and the artworks on display at the Ambassador’s Residence, please check out this Art in Embassies Booklet.