If first dog Bo Obama thought his days would be spent idly frolicking on the White House lawn, he was wrong. It turns out he’ll be networking just like the rest of the family. First Lady Michelle Obama has already scheduled a puppy playdate for Bo and another Portuguese water dog named Austin, whose owner is academic Hannah Higgins, wife of Deputy White House Social Secretary Joe Reinstein. Austin will arrive in Washington in June when Higgins moves from Chicago with the couple’s daughters Zoe, 13, and Nathalie, nine. Higgins will be leaving her job as associate professor of art history at the University of Illinois at Chicago to teach a course on Black Mountain College (home to innovative artists such as Jacob Lawrence, Robert Motherwell and Willem and Elaine de Kooning) as a fellow at the Phillips Collection Center for the Study of Modern Art. The daughter of Fluxus movement artists Alison Knowles and the late Dick Higgins, Hannah Higgins once said, “The most rebellious thing I ever did was get a Ph.D. in art history, marry a businessman and have two children. That was rebellious in my world.’’ She published “Fluxus Experience,” a history of the Sixties cultural movement, in 2002, and her latest tome, “The Grid Book,” will be released from MIT Press later this year.
April 30, 2009