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Feb 26, 2016 Washington, D.C. —
The White House Historical Association announced today a new exclusive retail collaboration with renowned designer Anna Weatherley. An exquisite hand-painted porcelain Cherry Blossom Collection that features the delicate, iconic pink blooms of Washington, D.C. springtime.
The four-piece collection features beautifully hand-painted cherry blossom branches and flowers that delicately wrap around the porcelain work. Each piece is hand-painted by master painters in Weatherley’s Budapest, Hungary studio. The pieces highlight the beautiful varied tones of the fleeting spring blooms, with the individually painted petals showing shades of white, pink, and even light purple depending on the light.
First Lady Helen Herron Taft dreamed of planting cherry trees along the Tidal Basin, just south of the White House, and in 1912 her wish was realized when 3,000 trees were gifted to Washington, D.C. by Tokyo, Japan Mayor Yukio Ozaki. Now more than 100 years old, the mature cherry trees are the inspiration for this elegant hand-painted porcelain collection.
First Ladies have continued the tradition of supporting the cherry trees and the National Cherry Blossom Festival. First Lady Mamie Eisenhower crowned Queen Janet Bailey in 1953, and in 1976 Betty Ford invited the Cherry Blossom princesses to the White House. In 1965, First Lady Lady Bird Johnson accepted 3,800 Yoshino trees from the government of Japan and held a tree planting reenactment. All first ladies in recent years have served as Festival Honorary Chair, many participating as well. In 1999, First Lady Hillary Clinton took part in a tree planting ceremony. In 2001, First Lady Laura Bush greeted guests with remarks at the Opening Ceremony. Honorary Chair First Lady Michelle Obama was involved in 2012, planting a cherry tree in West Potomac Park among dignitaries and guests.*
The exclusive Cherry Blossom Collection is on sale beginning today at the Association’s Washington, D.C. retail stores (1610 H Street, NW and in the White House Visitor Center at 1450 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW), as well as online at Shop.WhiteHouseHistory.org with free domestic shipping.
Based in Arlington, Virginia, this is the third collection Weatherley has designed for the White House Historical Association. Known for her delicate, masterfully painted floral pieces, Weatherley partnered with the Association this spring to also create a new annual hand-painted porcelain Easter Egg; and late last year the White House Gardens Collection, which features nine pieces including a large square cachepot, scalloped plate (four versions), square tray, small vase (two versions), and a small oval pierced dish. Inspired by flowers from the White House Rose Garden, the individual pieces feature meticulous painted tulips, Martigon lilies, columbines, and violas.
Weatherley was selected in 2009 by First Lady Laura Bush to create a hand-painted “casual” presidential china service, featuring a magnolia blossom pattern. It is used as an informal setting in the White House private quarters. She has also created pieces for the Prince of Wales Foundation in the United Kingdom.
Purchases of all Association products, including the exclusive Anna Weatherley Cherry Blossom Collection, Easter Egg, and White House Gardens Collection, support the Association’s nonprofit, nonpartisan mission to preserve, protect, and provide public access to the rich history of American’s Executive Mansion.
The four-piece Cherry Blossom Collection includes an oval cachepot ($350.00), small vase ($175.00), pierced oval dish ($100.00), and a leaf tray ($195.00).
*As compiled by the National Cherry Blossom Festival (nationalcherryblossomfestival.org).
Note for Members of the Press: Images and additional product information available upon request. Select images may be downloaded for press use at http://bit.ly/1VJ2jml and credited to the White House Historical Association.
About the white house historical association
First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy envisioned a restored White House that conveyed a sense of history through its decorative and fine arts. She sought to inspire Americans, especially children, to explore and engage with American history and its presidents. In 1961, the nonprofit, nonpartisan White House Historical Association was established to support her vision to preserve and share the Executive Mansion’s legacy for generations to come. Supported entirely by private resources, the Association’s mission is to assist in the preservation of the state and public rooms, fund acquisitions for the White House permanent collection, and educate the public on the history of the White House. Since its founding, the Association has given more than $50 million to the White House in fulfillment of its mission.
To learn more about the White House Historical Association, please visit WhiteHouseHistory.org.