The first couple had asked the leading US museum if they could borrow Vincent van Gogh’s ‘Landscape in the snow’ artwork for the first lady’s private quarters. However, the Guggenheim decided to strike a different bargain. The couple was offered a fully functional 18-carat solid Gold toilet instead of the requested painting.
According to the Washington Post, Trump received a strict yet polite reply via an email refusing to lend the 1888 Van Gogh artwork. ‘Many thanks for your request to the Guggenheim museum to borrow Vincent van Gogh’s ‘Landscape in the snow’ for the president and first lady’s private quarters in the white house,’ wrote museum curator Nancy Spector who has been critical of Trump.
She added that the museum “would like to offer it [the Golden toilet] to the White House for a long-term loan. It is, of course, extremely valuable and somewhat fragile, but we would provide all the instructions for its installation and care.”
On the other hand, there is more to this toilet than what meets the eye. Designed by contemporary artist Maurizio Cattelan, this usable toilet is an art installation titled “America”. It was installed in the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Museum in September 2016 where it was open to the public in a temporary exhibition.
Art critics believe that his golden toilet is a paradoxical object. “The use of gold satirizes not just American values but references a long discourse about the vanity of wealth, the belief of rich people that everything they do is transmogrified by money,” says Philip Kennicott from the Washington Post.
Additionally, gold fixtures are not new to the US president or his wife Melania Trump. In fact, they might appreciate this toilet, given their previous history of gold properties which include gold-plated items in their residences and their airplane. However, they would have to live with the fact that this toilet was used by the public during the exhibition. Click here for a quick tour of the Trump residence!