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


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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