Before Jacqueline Kennedy hired the first White House curator in 1961, furnishings from the executive mansion’s collection had come and gone for more than 160 years, reflecting changing fashions. But today from a small space on the Ground Floor, the Office of the Curator fulfills the enormous responsibility of ensuring that the White House Collection is cared for, documented, displayed, and in collaboration with the White House Historical Association, shared with the public.
Furnishing the White House: The Decorative Arts Collection, to be released by the White House Historical Association this fall, is the first published collaboration of four of those curators, whose cumulative experience exceeds 100 years. Together, they have witnessed the collection evolve since the presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson.
In a richly illustrated conversation, two of the contributing curators, William G. Allman and Melissa C. Naulin, and the book’s principal photographer, Bruce M. White, discuss this landmark publication and reflect on their experiences acquiring, conserving, storing, and photographing objects in the White House Collection.
Furnishing the White House: The Decorative Arts Collection is available for sale.