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Feb 17, 2020 Washington, D.C. —
The White House Historical Association’s Official 2020 White House Christmas Ornament commemorates President John F. Kennedy and is in the image of his posthumous official White House portrait made by Aaron Shikler in 1970. The back of the ornament features the dates that Kennedy was in office, 1961-1963, and a quote by First Lady Jaqueline Kennedy which states, “The White House belongs to the American people.”
President Kennedy’s portrait hangs in the Cross Hall on the State Floor of the White House today. The artist was selected by First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, and it is a symbolic portrait of an unfinished presidency. Shikler wanted to paint the president differently than in other portraits. “I painted him with his head bowed, not because I think of him as a martyr,” Shikler said, “but because I wanted to show him as a president who was a thinker… All presidential portraits have eyes that look right at you. I wanted to do something with more meaning. I hoped to show a courage that made him humble.”
During her time in The White House, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy restored the furnishings and décor of the State Rooms to the era of early presidents and invited the public to view them in a television special. The First Lady also founded the White House Historical Association in 1961.
Every year since 1981, the Official White House Christmas Ornament has commemorated a President’s time in the White House (sequentially) or significant White House anniversary.
The Official 2020 White House Christmas Ornament is available online at whitehousehistory.org/2020 and at these retail locations:
- The White House History Shop at 1610 H Street NW, Washington D.C. 20006.
- The White House Visitor Center at 1450 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, D.C. 20006.
For more information, visit whitehousehistory.org/2020
The Official 2020 White House Christmas Ornament retails for $24.95.
For more information or to interview Stewart McLaurin, President of the White House Historical Association, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.