Jackie’s White House
Jackie’s thoughtful restoration of the White House.
There are few things as intrinsic to the American psyche as the Kennedy family. As politicians undoubtedly, but as style icons in a most ubiquitous way. A less regarded part of the Kennedy oeuvre is that of Jackie’s deeply thoughtful restoration of the White House during her husband’s presidential years (1961-1963). Artwork and antiques originally commissioned for the home were returned from museums and collectors nationwide on behalf of her petitions. Interior schemes and architectural details were restored to their original intention, and throughout this process the doors were opened to the American people. Under Jackie’s direction, the White House Historical Society was formed, and the grounds were dedicated as a national museum. This meant no future president could undermine the meticulous restorative work she undertook – the spirit of the home became protected by congressional oversite. Thanks to Jackie, the White House assumed its righteous role as the people’s house for all future generations. As we celebrate our nation on this 4th, this is exactly the sort of sentiment we choose to honor. Thank you, Jackie, for your style, your graciousness, and your respect.
The images here are from various sources, the most prominent of which is the JFK Library. They carefully documented the restoration process (you’ll see before and after photos here), the televised tours Jackie gave along the way, and the day to day activity of restoring the home behind the scenes. We’re particularly partial to the table settings you’ll find in the archives – the flowers! The cigarettes in a gold cup! It was so, so good.