02/03/2014 08:43 pm ET Updated Feb 03, 2014

Obama Praises Joan Mondale For Her Contributions To The Arts

John Sunderland via Getty Images

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is praising Joan Mondale for her contributions to arts and global understanding.

The wife of former Vice President Walter Mondale died Monday at age 83. Obama and first lady Michelle Obama are sending their condolences to the Mondale family and said they are grateful for her service to the country.

In a statement, the Obamas said Joan Mondale was a lifelong patron of the arts who filled the vice president's residence with work from dozens or artists. They said she did the same thing when her husband later became U.S. ambassador to Japan.

The Obamas called her a passionate advocate for the role of art in American life.

Read the full statement:

Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to former Vice President Walter Mondale and his family on the passing of Joan Adams Mondale. America first came to know Joan through her husband; she was his devoted partner in public service, from Minnesota to Washington. A lifelong patron of the arts, Joan filled the Vice Presidential mansion with works by dozens of artists, including many unknowns, and later did the same at the U.S. embassy in Japan during her husband’s tenure as ambassador. Through her contributions to the Federal Council on the Arts and Humanities and the Kennedy Center, she passionately advocated for the role of art in the life of our nation and the promotion of understanding worldwide. Our thoughts and prayers are with Vice President Mondale and his family today as we remember with gratitude “Joan of Art” and her service to our nation.



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