14 October 2020
The first guide to the White House
Jacqueline Kennedy, 1962.
KENNEDY, Jacqueline – White House Historical Association. The White House, an Historic Guide. Washington: White House Historical Association, 1962. [With:] Autograph note signed ("Jackie") to Jayne Wrightsman, Washington, n.d., and the original enclosing envelope addressed in her hand.
Jayne Wrightsman's copy of the first official guidebook to the White House. When the Kennedys moved into the White House in January 1961, Jacqueline was struck by the lack of historic furnishings in the house, compelling her to embark on an ambitious redecorating effort with scholarly underpinnings. It was Charles Montgomery of the Winterthur Museum who suggested that the First Lady form a committee of well-connected people who could assist in acquiring the appropriate art and furnishings. Jayne Wrightsman was among those chosen for this task, and she proved instrumental in the effort, leveraging her expertise in French fine and decorative art to advise Mrs. Kennedy. The fruits of this labor were memorialized in what was the first official guidebook to the White House. In thanks, she writes to Jayne: "At last the guide book is a reality! – and I can never thank you enough for all you did to make it possible –"
Octavo (254 x 168mm), bound in black leather, gilt-ruled boards (binding worn and dry). Limited edition, number 7 of 100 copies. [With] Note and envelope from Jacqueline Kennedy laid in. [Also With:] White House Historical Association. The White House, an Historic Guide. Washington: White House Historical Association, 1963. Bound in red cloth boards.
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