Without question, it requires special motivation to sit down and write: “Dear Mr. President.” This salutation means we have something important to say, and we expect the most powerful person on earth to pay attention to our concerns.
—Allen Weinstein, Archivist of the United States (2005-2008)1
Beginning with John Langdon’s letter informing George Washington of his election, public officials and private citizens have taken to writing the President, sharing their hopes and fears for this nation. We “merely write the letters, put them in envelopes addressed to the White House, and drop them in the mailbox with implicit faith in the United States Post Office to deliver them to” as Ira Smith called him, “the man in whom [we’ve] put our trust.”2 As the steward of this nation and its people, we write the President to share our stories and our struggles, to ask for assistance or offer guidance, to complement his accomplishments and to criticize his policies.
This project aims to create a unique collection of political art indicative of this moment, forever to be held within the National Archives.3 This online collection aims to document these artworks sent to the White House and the responses to them.
Conservatives and liberals; critics and supporters; artist of all kinds are invited to send creative work to The White House as messages of hope and of concern as part of this project. Artists are especially encouraged to participate during the first 100 days of the new administration (January 20 – April 29).
There are now two ways to participate:
Make Art. Document it. Mail it to the White House (“In Care of The White House“)
You make the Art. We mail it to The White House (“Art as the Message“)
A project by: Steven H Silberg
In Care Of The White House is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Attribution for images and documentation should be listed under the name of the artist in care of this website.