The third most remarkable feature — or the fourth, if you count Barack Obama’s hilarious pose reflected in the mirror as he falls back from a tiny Spider Man’s attack — of White House photographer Pete Souza’s viral snapshot of the U.S. President is a dark, column-like abstract sculpture near the image’s center whose title and maker remain a mystery.
Though its cylindrical form, rough textures, and wooden base initially conjured similar works by artists like Martin Puryear and Ursula von Rydingsvard, given what we know about the works the Obamas requested be loaned to the White House collection, our best guess is that the mystery artwork is one of Louise Nevelson’s column sculptures from the 1960s and ’70s.
However, we welcome fellow art detectives’ input on this matter: If you think you know what the artwork at the center of all this cuteness is, let us know in the comments.
— Benjamin Sutton
(Photo: Pete Souza/The White House. Via TIME.)