There’s a shadowy female figure approaching the table, just as there is in his most recent painting of Democratic presidents playing poker, “The Democratic Club.” Thomas explained the symbolism on his website:
“That will be the first Republican female president and the first Democratic female president. … As I was doing the painting, I was thinking that these guys are kind of intimidating in a way. That’s the kind of woman that will be our first woman president; she’ll walk right up to that table.A woman who walks up to Donald Trump’s table without throwing a drink in his face is probably not going to be a great president, but kudos to Thomas for sneaking a feminist message into Donald Trump’s Presidential Dining Room. In the past, Frederick Judd Waugh’s Rough Sea at Bailey’s Island, Maine, hung on that wall. (Source.)
Before that, Alvan Fisher’s Indian Guides hung there, under both Obama and Bush:
Critic Annette Ferrara has described Dogs Playing Poker as "indelibly burned into ... the American collective-schlock subconscious ... through incessant reproduction on all manner of pop ephemera."
The first painting, Coolidge's 1894 Poker Game (above), realized $658,000 at a Sotheby's New York sale on November 18, 2015.
From John Wilkes "Booth's point of view," notes artist Jeffrey Vallance. Vallance also posted the following composite image using Thomas' Lincoln view.