Betty C. Monkman

Betty C. Monkman

Betty C. Monkman has worked in the White House curator's office since 1967; in 1997 she was named curator. She has written numerous articles on White House decorative arts. Bruce White, formerly a staff photographer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, specializes in photographing art and architecture.

The White House

Its Furnishings & First Families

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2nd Edition. Published in conjunction with the White House Historical Association. 

New edition features never-before-published photographs of rooms decorated during the Obama and Bush presidencies.

Ever since the White House was built over 200 years ago, its decor has been of great interest to visitors, historians, and anyone interested in our nation's history and how it was manifested in our country's most famous residence. Influenced not only by styles of the moment, the White House interiors are even more affected by the sensibilities of its occupants, our presidents and their first families.

This updated edition features new photos and information from recent renovations of the Green Room, the Queens' Bedroom, Family Dining Room, Lincoln Bedroom and Lincoln Bed, Lincoln Sitting Room, and the Oval Office. Also highlighted will be china from the Clinton and Bush administrations and a fire screen acquired during the Obama administration.

Author Betty Monkman shares historical facts and anecdotes revealing how the furnishings and artwork showcased in this book came to the White House, sometimes under controversial circumstances. She describes how Mary Todd Lincoln earned public criticism for indulging in excessive shopping expeditions and expenditures during the early days of the Civil War. Readers also learn how Jacqueline Kennedy took a vastly different approach to changes in the president's residence, by working to transform the White House into a place where visitors could learn about the history of the country.

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Treasures of The White House

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A miniature handbook of the most important furnishings of the White House.

For nearly two centuries, the White House has served as the residence of our nation's president and his family. John and Abigail Adams were the first residents, and each family ever since has been encouraged, through congressional appropriations and private contributions, to make the White House a comfortable home and to provide the necessities for handsomely carrying out its additional functions as nexus for state ceremony and entertaining. As a result, the decorative objects acquired for the White House cover a wide range of genres, all rich with historic association

This treasury of our nation's valuable heirlooms, selected by the curator of the White House, includes some of the finest examples of American paintings, sculpture, furniture, silver, glass, and porcelain. In addition to excellent pictures of the objects, there are photographs that show them as arranged in state rooms. A concise essay introduces the collection and places it in historic context, and two additional pieces survey both the fine arts and the decorative arts in the president's house.

This pocket-size book is an ideal gift for those interested in beautiful historic objects or those who would like a comprehensive memento of a visit to the nation's capital.

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