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Modern Art and the White House

The White House is known as the home and office of the president and the first family, but is also a museum. The White House contains a large art collection that has grown and evolved over time. Through the 20th century, the story told by the White House Collection has grown to include modern art from many diverse and innovative

Slavery, Freedom, and the White House

Although many people think of the White House as a symbol of democracy, it is also a part of our country’s history of slavery. From the start of White House construction in 1792 until emancipation took effect in Washington, D.C. in 1862, enslaved men, women, and children labored at the Executive Mansion. The stories of these individuals, working under the op

Presidents' Retreats

The White House serves both as home and office for the president, but almost all chief executives have taken the opportunity to travel during their time in office. Early presidents typically returned to their own homes, as many had farms or estates that required attention. Some presidents found relief in cottages and cabins closer to the White House or just

Lost Features of the White House

The White House is over two hundred years old and has seen more than forty presidents. Over the centuries, changes have been made to the home and grounds for both practical and aesthetic reasons. During the course of the building's history, several features have been lost to time. These range from small items to larger elements like structures, swimming pools,

Diplomacy and the White House

Many guests have traveled to the White House to meet and dine with the president. Some of these visitors were leaders of foreign countries who came to manage international relations. These encounters at the Executive Mansion, combined with different presidents' agendas and goals, have helped shape the international position of the United States over the centuries. From the young nation

Furnishings of the White House

The historic furnishings in the White House provide a glimpse into the ways that first families have lived and worked for over 200 years. These desks, chairs, and other items allow the Executive Mansion to serve as both the home and the office of the president. Each piece of furniture has a history of its own. While furniture has come and

White House China

Many large formal events at the White House include meals served on official china. These plates, cups, and bowls function both as dinnerware and decorative arts. For two hundred years, different presidents have ordered china to suit their tastes and accommodate an increasing number of guests who dine at the Executive Mansion. Today, the White House has a room on

Music and the White House

The White House is known by most people as the home and office of the President of the United States, but this famous residence also serves as a stage for American culture, particularly music. From John Adams, its first resident, to modern day presidents, musical performance of all kinds have enhanced life in the Executive Mansion. Learn about the connection