A graduate of Tyler School of Art at Temple University (BFA, Magna Cum Laude, MFA) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Simmie Knox has specialized in oil portraiture since 1981. Prior to that, he taught at various colleges, universities, and public schools in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. During the 1970's, Simmie exhibited as an abstract artist and worked for the Museum of African Art in Washington, D.C. In 1971, he participated in the Thirty-Second Biennial of Contemporary American Painting at The Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. with his abstract art.
He turned to portraiture after years of painting a wide variety of paintings because he found that there is nothing more challenging and interesting to paint than the human face. He states "I think that a good portrait is the most difficult thing for an artist to bring off successfully. Not only must you get an accurate likeness, but you must also create a good painting. Somehow you must convey a subject's character, spirit, and personality; and everything must communicate the dynamism of the subject."
Simmie has been commissioned by private individuals, organizations, and institutions and has painted portraits of a U.S. President and First Lady, two U.S. Supreme Court Justices, a U.S. cabinet member, a U.S. senator and congressmen, state senators, a mayor of New York City, respected civic leaders, sports figures, entertainment celebrities, educators, judges, religious leaders, military officers, businessmen, and private individuals.
Betty C. Monkman served more than thirty years in the Office of the Curator, the White House retiring as Chief Curator in 2002. Her book, The White House: Its Historic Furnishings and First Families (2000) was updated and revised in 2014. Other recent publications are The Living White House (12th ed., 2007; 13th ed. 2013), and Treasures of the White House (2000). She was the managing editor and contributor to the 50th anniversary edition of The White House: An Historic Guide (2011). She has lectured widely throughout the country and has been a consultant to the White House Historical Association.
Katherine Gilliland has been the docent manager at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum since 2005. As an educator in the Education and Public Programs Department, she develops docent-led programs for the public and for school groups. She holds an M.A. in art history and museum studies from Tufts University and a B.A. in art history from Carleton College in Minnesota.
William Allman served in the Office of the Curator of the White House for 41 years, the last 15 years as the Curator until his retirement in June 2017. A native and resident of Bethesda, Maryland, Bill received his B.A. in history from the University of Maryland in 1974 and an M.A. in American studies with museum concentration from The George Washington University in 1982. He is the author of the 2016 edition of Official White House China From the 18th to the 21st Centuriesand co-author of Something of Splendor, Decorative Arts from the White House (to accompany an exhibition at the Renwick Gallery), both published by the White House Historical Association.