Visitor John M asks three questions I can’t answer….
When Mrs. Kennedy gave her famous tour in 1962 she spent considerable time in the newly restored Red Room. She mentioned two chairs by the desk between the windows as grateful acquisitions perhaps from the Tyler administration. What ever happened to those chairs?
Also, Boudin had approved changes from Mrs. Kennedy for the Vermeil and China rooms in 1963. Were any of these changes implemented during the Johnson administration? If so were the rooms photographed?
Finally, why did they choose to place William McKinley’s portrait in the East Room? As for the other portraits I understand Washington and his wife as he laid the cornerstone and they were the original first couple. I understand TR because he was responsible for the interior architecture via McKim, Mead, and White. In my opinion they should balance out the male/female portraits and remove McKinley and replace it with Shikler’s portrait of Jacqueline Kennedy who helped create the White House Historical Society and establish the permanent collection of historic antiques.
I don’t think the WH comments on why certain portraits are placed where they are. I’m sure –for all administrations–it’s a combination of curatorial historical expertise and vicious partisanship. 😉