The White House: Its Historic Furnishings & First Families

Washington, DC — The White House Historical Association has released The White House: Its Historic Furnishings & First Families. This award-winning title, back in print for its second edition, features never-before-published photography of the White House rooms from President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama administrations. New White House acquisitions highlighted include State china service sets and a rare photograph of the White House draped in black for the mourning of President Abraham Lincoln.

The White House: Its Historic Furnishings & First FamiliesThe book is introduced by the late Wendall Garrett, who explains the significance and evolution of White House decor, “Ever since the Adamses moved into the house, first families have furnished and redecorated the White House in the prevailing styles of their times or the exigencies of the moment. . . .The diverse, changing, and in many ways unique White House collection of decorative arts featured here vividly reflects the disparate strands of emerging American culture.”

Quotes from 10 first ladies, Mrs. Kennedy through Mrs. Obama, open the book. First Lady Michelle Obama writes, “Living at the White House is an honor for our family, and every day we feel the history that surrounds us. The White House is one of our nation’s most iconic landmarks, and while it is an impressive, inspiring place, it is a home too. It is this duality that makes the White House not just the president’s residence, but truly the People’s House.”

Generously illustrated with especially commissioned photography and select period graphics, this volume focuses on some of our nation’s most important heirlooms, including historically significant furniture, silver, glass, porcelain, and textiles. It is an ideal choice for those deeply interested in the decorative arts, presidential biography, and America’s incomparable history.

The book is a collaboration by Betty C. Monkman, William G. Allman and Bruce White. Betty Monkman served more than thirty years in the Office of the Curator, The White House, retiring as Chief Curator in 2002. She has written books and articles on the White House and its collections and has lectured throughout the country. William Allman became Curator of the White House in 2002, having served in the Office of the Curator since 1976. He has contributed to many White House Historical Association publications and was an advisor for the re-inventing of the White House Visitor Center. Bruce White specializes in the photography of works of art and architecture and has been engaged by some of the country’s leading cultural institutions. He was formerly a staff photographer at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The White House: Its Historic Furnishings & First Families can be ordered from the White House Historical Association gift shops and website at shop.whitehousehistory.org

Case Bound with dust jacket 320 pages
More than 300 color photographs
ISBN 978-0-7892-1179-8
$39.95

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Contact: Amy Weiss
amy@weisspublicaffairs.com
202-203-0448