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Mar 22, 2017 Washington, D.C. —
The White House Historical Association today released the second Cherry Blossom Collection installment in its exclusive retail collaboration with renowned designer Anna Weatherley: an exquisite hand-painted porcelain vase and mug featuring the delicate, iconic pink blooms of Washington, D.C. springtime.
This spring’s additions to the collection are adorned with 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 lovely varied tones of the fleeting spring blooms, with the individually painted petals showing shades of white and pink. Each piece is completed with a gold trim that brings out the earthier tones of the branches and bird pictured on the vase, perched on a branch.
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 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.
Weatherley, based in Arlington, VA, has designed three collections for the White House Historical Association. Known for her delicate, masterfully painted floral pieces, Weatherley partnered with the Association this spring to create the second annual hand-painted porcelain Easter Egg; and also in 2015 for a White House Gardens Collection. 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.
*As compiled by the National Cherry Blossom Festival.
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 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.