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Our Story

About the Association

The White House Historical Association is a private, nonprofit, educational organization founded by First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy in 1961 to help the White House collect and exhibit the very best artifacts of American history and culture.

Our Mission

Today, our mission of acquisition, preservation, research, and education continue through generous private donations and the sale of our books, products, and the Official White House Ornament.

How We Do It


We fund the acquisition and protection of historically significant artwork, furniture, china, and other household items for the White House’s permanent collection.

"Early Bloomer [Anagram (a Pun)]" by Robert Rauschenberg.

White House Historical Association

During their residence in the Executive Mansion, the Obamas oversaw the 2015 refurbishing of the Family Dining Room, incorporating modern art and design into the room. Among the selected pieces of work are the paintings "Early Bloomer [Anagram (a Pun)]" by Robert Rauschenberg on the west wall and "Resurrection" by Alma Thomas on the north wall.

White House Historical Association

How We Do It


We assist in the preservation and periodic renovation of White House interiors, and commission the official portraits of both the President and the First Lady.

First Lady Michelle Obama poses with Sharon Sprung - the artist who painted her White House portrait - and her portrait in the Ground Floor Corridor on September 7, 2022.

Tony Powell for the White House Historical Association

Since 1965, the White House Historical Association has been proud to fund the official portraits of our presidents and first ladies, a long-standing tradition of the White House Collection.

How We Do It


We provide meaningful connection to the White House through our publications, educational programs, digital image library, exhibits, and events.

Furnishing the White House: The Decorative Arts Collection

White House Historical Association

An evening panel held at the Library of Congress during the 2023 Presidential Sites Summit on September 25, 2023. The panel, titled, "Persevering Presidential History", was moderated by David R. Rubenstein and featured Lonnie Bunch, Secretary of the Smithsonian, Colleen Shogan, Archivist of the United States, Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress, and Chuck Sams, Director of the National Park Service.

Matthew D'Agostino for the White House Historical Association

Stewart D. McLaurin

Stewart McLaurin serves as president of the White House Historical Association. The Association was founded in 1961 by First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy to share and preserve the rich history of the White House. In his ten years as president, Stewart has expanded the Association’s cultural and educational programming through award-winning books, popular video series, and virtual and in-person events to ensure White House history is preserved for future generations.

Conferences & Symposia

The White House Historical Association is committed to fostering historical understanding and appreciation of the Executive Mansion through conferences and symposia for like-minded institutions.