The Guggenheim Offered Trump a Gold Toilet Instead of the Van Gogh He Wanted


This past summer, noted art-appreciator Donald Trump asked the Guggenheim Museum if they would loan him Vincent Van Gogh’s 1888 “Landscape With Snow” so he could hang the piece in his White House residence. Unfortunately for Trump, the museum was unable to accommodate his request. But, curator Nancy Spector told the president, the Guggenheim had another piece that might be perfect for a man who lives in a golden tower, flies in a golden plane, and has his own brand of gold-wrapped chocolates.

Would Trump consider a solid gold toilet?

Titled “America,” the 18-karat, fully functional toilet was the work of contemporary artist Maurizio Cattelan, and had spent the previous year on display in the Guggenheim’s fifth-floor bathroom. In a letter obtained by The Washington Post, Spector told the president that the luxury latrine’s exhibition had recently ended, and Cattelan had suggested it be made available to the Trumps “should the President and First Lady have any interest in installing it in the White House.”

“It is, of course, extremely valuable and somewhat fragile, but we would provide all the instructions for its installation and care,’ Spector wrote.

Of course, the Guggenheim could have simply offered Trump a facsimile of his original Van Gogh request. He clearly wouldn’t have known, or cared, that it was it was a fake.

A Guggenheim representative confirmed Spector’s offer to the Post, while the White House declined to comment. When asked about the piece, Cattelan declared: “What’s the point of our life? Everything seems absurd until we die and then it makes sense.”

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