The Nixon White House Redecoration and Acquisition Program

An Illustrated History

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About the Book

A positive legacy of the troubled Nixon administration—and one virtually unknown to the American public—is the extensive acquisition of valuable art and antiques for the White House and the redecoration of the executive mansion by Pat Nixon. With the help of an aggressive curator, Clement Conger, and a talented interior designer, Edward Vason Jones, the First Lady quietly erased much of the historic décor of Jacqueline Kennedy’s Camelot and introduced an academic look to the State Rooms which endures to this day.
Nixon marked his presidential territory with a complete renovation of the West Wing—a harbinger of the First Lady’s plans. They implemented a massive fundraising campaign to bankroll the refurbishment, which resulted in one of the foremost collections of art, art objects, furniture, paintings and sculpture in America. This book presents the never before told story of the Nixons’ remodeling of the White House, motivated by the approaching American Bicentennial and a desire to restore respect to the presidency through the arts.

About the Author(s)

Patrick Phillips-Schrock is a professor of French and history from Des Moines, Iowa.

Bibliographic Details

Patrick Phillips-Schrock
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 288
Bibliographic Info: 239 photos (39 in color), appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6204-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2238-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Preface and Acknowledgments 1

A Word About the Images 3

1969: An Introduction 4

I. The Need for Acquisition and Redecoration: The Principal Players 11

II. The West Wing 28

The Oval Office, Fall 1969 28

The OEB Office 40

The Cabinet Room 47

The West Wing Offices 51

The New Press Facility: West Pavilion or Colonnade 54

III. The Ground Floor 64

The Ground Floor Corridor 64

The Map Room 69

The Vermeil Room 74

The China Room 79

The Diplomatic Reception Room 82

The Garden Room 83

Between pages 84 and 85 are 24 pages containing 39 color plates.

IV. The State Floor 85

The East Room 87

The State Dining Room 90

The Family Dining Room 92

The Kennedy Portraits and the Onassis Visit 92

The Nixon-Cox Wedding 96

Damage to the State Rooms 101

The Red Room 103

The Green Room 112

The Blue Room 124

The Entrance Hall and the Cross Hall 135

V. The Second Floor 144

The West Sitting Hall 145

The Center Hall 146

The East Sitting Hall 150

The President’s Bedroom 151

The First Lady’s Suite 156

The Second Floor Kitchen 161

The President’s Dining Room 162

The West Bedroom, East Bedroom and Beauty Parlor 163

The Queen’s Suite 167

The Lincoln Suite 167

The Treaty Room 170

The Yellow Oval Room 171

VI. The Third Floor 179

Guest Rooms and Solarium 179

VII. August 1974 and Afterwards 183

VIII. Final Analysis 193

IX. The Nixon Legacy at the White House 201

Appendices:

A. Camp David and Aspen Lodge 203

B. The Eisenhower Museum Loan of a Marcotte Blue Room Chair 208

C. The Elvis Presley Visit 211

D. Some Redecoration and Acquisition Program Costs 216

E. List of Gifts and Acquisitions 217

F. List of Lenders to the White House Collection, Nixon Administration 219

G. Transcript of the First Lady’s Remarks on the Opening of the Blue Room, May 15, 1972 221

H. Executive Order 11145: Providing for a Curator of the White House and Establishing a Committee for the Preservation of the White House 224

I. Committees and Curators for the Preservation of the White House 225

J. Memoranda for Redecoration of the Map Room 228

Notes 233

Bibliography 247

Index 251


Book Reviews & Awards

“highly detailed…commendable”—H-Net Reviews.