Main Content

Betty Monkman, Former White House Curator, and William Kloss, Art Historian
34 minutes

Portrait artists have captured the image and personality of our presidents throughout history, providing a record of their time in office and highlighting their accomplishments and leadership. It wasn’t always tradition to commission a portrait for the president, as it is today. Each one comes with a unique story, from the symbolism in the portrait to the artist who painted it. White House Historical Association President Stewart McLaurin talks to Former White House Curator Betty Monkman and Art Historian William Kloss to learn more about the history of these portraits, how the White House began to collect them, and the stories they tell.

Browse the Presidential Portraits and First Lady Portraits.

The podcast host

Stewart McLaurin, Host

President of the White House Historical Association

As President of the White House Historical Association Stewart McLaurin leads the nonpartisan, nonprofit in its mission to preserve, protect, and provide access to White House history. As a lifelong student of history, Stewart is an avid reader, author, and storyteller. Drawing on his own experiences, relationships, and knowledge he provides listeners with a front row seat to history at the White House.