the trumps ask to borrow a van gogh. the guggenheim offers a solid gold toilet instead.

the trumps ask to borrow a van gogh. the guggenheim offers a solid gold toilet instead.

when donald trump asks a leading US museum to borrow a painting for the white house, a hilarious response fitting the somewhat unbelievable narrative that is recent american history should be expected but it doesn’t make it any less hilarious. the first couple had asked the guggenheim if they could borrow vincent van gogh’s ‘landscape in the snow’ for the first lady’s private quarters and instead they were offered a toilet made of solid gold.


A post shared by miroslav (@miroslav_ghan) on



the white house contacted the guggenheim museum in new york to ask for the painting, an act not unusual for presidents (apparently the obamas preferred abstract art). what is more unusual is that the request not be fulfilled, never mind responded to in such a perfect fashion. ‘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,’ museum curator nancy spector wrote in an email to the white house, according to the washington post. ‘I am sorry, however, to inform you that we are unable to participate in this loan.’


we are sorry not to be able to accommodate your original request, but remain hopeful that this special offer may be of interest,‘ spector continues in the email before offering a solid 18k gold toilet from contemporary italian artist maurizio cattelan instead. the working toilet, an art peace called ‘america‘ has been on display at the museum in one of its public restrooms ‘for all to use in a wonderful act of generosity,‘ according to the email.


it is stated that cattelan himself, who has previously been critical of mr trump, offered the toilet to the trumps he told the newspaper the issue was ‘very delicate’ and when asked to explain the meaning of his gold toilet and his offer of a loan, he said:what’s the point of our life? everything seems absurd until we die and then it makes sense.

cover image courtesy of guggenheim foundation, read more here.

  • nancy spector may regret this some day.

    Frederick Beggy says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

art news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
502,536 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample