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Aug 25, 2020 Washington, D.C.

The White House Historical Association (WHHA) will release its summer issue of the White House History Quarterly on Tuesday, August 25. The 58th issue of the award-winning Quarterly, “Photographing the White House,” focuses on the evolution of the art of photography as a tool for recording and studying the history of the White House and goes behind the viewfinder to learn more about the inspiration, access, and constraints on the photographers who have covered the presidents at work.

"As we create the layouts for each Quarterly, countless millions of architectural, landscape, fine art, portrait, and documentary photographs from the files of the Library of Congress, National Archives, presidential sites, museums, historical societies, private and commercial collections, online hosting sites, and the Association's own digital library are easily accessible to us,” writes Marcia Anderson, editor of White House History Quarterly. “Our favorite photographs are the discoveries, the never-before-published images, which like puzzle pieces, help complete the bigger picture of White House history."

Included in this issue:

  • Historian Clifford Krainik takes readers back to the 1840s to see the first photographs known to have been made inside the White House, and to the early 1860s to see one of the earliest photographs of White House staff and the earliest published stereoviews of State Rooms.
  • Jeffrey Parsons writes about his experience exploring Washington, D.C. with his Rolleiflex camera as a college student in 1959, a time when the public could simply appear at posted hours to visit the White House.
  • Richard Hussey shares the story of a collection of late-nineteenth-century glass plate negatives found in a bushel basket on his family's Ohio farm, including two breathtaking views of the White House published for the first time in the Quarterly.
  • Susan Ford Bales, the youngest child of President Gerald R. Ford, provides the moving backstory that led her to use photography to "ignore the frustrations and embrace" all of her unique experiences as the president’s daughter.
  • The stories of the "ultimate insiders" are revealed by Ken Walsh, former president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, who profiles the work of all those who have held the title "Official White House Photographer."
  • Historian Mary Jo Binker profiles President Richard Nixon's photographer Ollie Atkins who dutifully followed the president's "six clicks and out" rule, yet had the foresight to capture such spontaneous moments as Nixon's embrace with his daughter during his final days in office.
  • In his "Reflections on History Old and New" column, Stewart McLaurin, President of the White House Historical Association, observes, "Photographs stir memories and document the past in a moment of time." He shares a photograph of the White House taken by his mother in 1949 as well as a recent aerial image captured of Black Lives Matter Plaza leading up to the Lafayette Square and the White House.
  • And, included in this issue are ten of the most compelling images of the hundreds submitted by readers to the Quarterly's open call for photographs. Family vacations, honeymoons, holidays, and even a marriage proposal are among those selected for publication. In telling the story of her submission, Meredith Johnson expressed it beautifully, writing, "I love that my own history is now tied to White House history as well."

To request an advance copy of White House History Quarterly #58, or to interview the authors listed above, please contact press@whha.org.

Issues of White House History Quarterly retail for $9.95. To subscribe or purchase a single issue, visit shop.whitehousehistory.org.

About The White House History Quarterly

Published four times each year by the White House Historical Association, this publication features articles on White House history, architecture, fine and decorative arts, and gardens, as well as the life stories of White House occupants and their experiences living in the Executive Mansion. Now in its 21st year of regular publication, the Quarterly has won national and regional awards for content and design and has attracted a loyal readership of both scholars and laymen in the U.S. and abroad. More than 200 scholars, artisans, and former White House employees have written for the award-winning Quarterly. Historian William Seale is the founding editor.

P.D.F. Resources

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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.

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