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Sep 23, 2020 Washington, D.C.

The White House Historical Association (WHHA) and Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library announce the 2020 Annual Symposium, this year focusing on Decorative Arts in the White House. The day-long virtual event will begin at 9:00 AM on Thursday, October 1st.

Stewart McLaurin, President of the White House Historical Association, will welcome guests to the Symposium, with sessions from experts in the fields of decorative arts, history, and curation to follow.

Sessions include:

  • A discussion about the creation of American taste with Catharine Dann Roeber, Brock W. Jobe Associate Professor of Decorative Arts and Material Culture at Winterthur Museum, Garden, & Library, and Jennifer Van Horn, Assistant Professor of Art History and History at the University of Delaware, moderated by Tom Savage, Director of External Affairs at Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library.
  • White House Curator Lydia Tederick will speak on the history of the White House Collection.
  • Matthew Costello, Vice President of the David M. Rubenstein National Center for White House History, will moderate a discussion on the preservation and conservation of the White House Collection featuring Wendy Cooper, Curator Emerita of Furniture at the Winterthur Museum, Melissa Naulin, Associate Curator of Decorative Arts at the White House, and Frank Kalista, Historic Upholsterer.
  • Costello will also moderate a conversation between Brock Jobe, Professor of American Decorative Arts Emeritus of the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture, William Allman, Former Curator of the White House, and Marcee Craighill, Director and Curator of the Diplomatic Reception Rooms, on the White House as a house, museum, and stage.
  • Stephanie Delamaire, Associate Curator of Fine Arts at Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library, and authors of Designing Camelot: The Kennedy White House Restoration, James A. Abbott and Elaine Rice Bachmann, will address their book in a discussion moderated by Carol B. Cadou, Charles F. Montgomery Director and CEO of Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library.

Registration is required for this event. Register here for the 2020 Virtual Symposium.

For more information or if you are interested in covering as a member of the press, please contact

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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

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