Michelle and her husband teamed up with a Californian decorator and the White House's curator William Allman to choose the works, which include both paintings and sculptures.Share
"The first lady had clear ideas about what they were aiming for," William revealed. "They knew their tastes."
Among the art pieces, which can only be hung in private rooms and offices rather than historic public spaces, is a bold canvas by Edward Ruscha titled I Think I'll….
It shows a painted red sunset with phrases such as "I' think I'll" and "maybe…no" inscribed on top.
There are also paintings by contemporary American print maker Jasper Johns and Alma Thomas, an African-American abstract painter.
Sculptures chosen by the president and his first lady include a steam boat paddle wheel, a patent model for a gear cutter and bronze figurines.
Their choices are "great art to live with," said the curator of modern and contemporary art at the National Gallery – where many of the items come from.
"A lot of it is challenging. There are different styles: figurative art, abstract art."