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.