The White House Historical Association presents The 1600 Sessions, a podcast that explores the history, untold stories and personal accounts of America’s most iconic residence and office – The White House.
Obama White House Portraits: The Artists
The White House Historical Association commissions official portraits of the president and first lady. As is the custom, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama picked their portrait artists before leaving office. The artists’ names were kept confidential - until now. The official Obama portraits were unveiled at a White House ceremony hosted by President Joseph Biden and First Lady Jill Biden on September 7, 2022. Association President Stewart McLaurin spoke to the artists Robert McCurdy and Sharon Sprung about the challenges of this unique historical assignment, their approach to creating the portraits, and what it feels like to know your work will hang in one of the greatest galleries in the world, the White House.
Robert McCurdy painted the official White House portrait of President Barack Obama.
Sharon Sprung painted the official White House portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama.
American Storyteller Bartlett Sher
Bartlett Sher is a Tony Award-winning director who has brought thoughtful, powerful productions to theaters, opera houses, and film. He is the Resident Director at Lincoln Center Theater and one of our greatest storytellers, using the stage to interpret and spotlight stories of American history. He has staged multiple productions at the Kennedy Center, including a tour this summer of his Award-winning adaptation of Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning To Kill a Mockingbird. Next spring, Sher and writer Aaron Sorkin will debut a revival of the musical Camelot on Broadway. First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy said Camelot was JFK’s favorite musical, and after his death, the story of King Arthur and the Knights of the Roundtable came to symbolize the Kennedy administration.
Jackie Kennedy's White House Guidebook 60th Anniversary
The first White House guidebook was published in 1962 as a collaboration between First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, the new White House Historical Association, and the National Geographic Society. A special edition released on July 28th, 2022, Mrs. Kennedy’s birthday, marks the 60th anniversary of The White House: An Historic Guide. In this episode, we revisit a conversation between White House Historical Association President Stewart McLaurin and National Geographic Society’s Senior Director of Library and Archives Renee Braden, who shares a special oral history she recorded with Bob Breeden, one of the key people who created the first guide.
James Hoban: The Charleston Years
Charleston holds hints and clues to the formative years of the ambitious young Irishman James Hoban and his dream to make his mark in the United States. Join Stewart McLaurin, President of the White House Historical Association and architectural historian and preservationist Shea McEnerney as they explore the Southern seaport to uncover the influences and legacy of the architect of the most famous residence in the world.
Incomparable Grace: JFK in the Presidency
Mark K. Updegrove shares new historical perspectives on the Kennedy presidency from his recent book, Incomparable Grace: JFK in the Presidency. The author, President and CEO of the LBJ Foundation, and White House Historical Association President Stewart McLaurin explore the relationship between President John F. Kennedy and Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, the assessment of Kennedy among world leaders, and what might have been had the young President lived.
The Next Generation: What the White House Means to Me
From reflections to a historical lightning round, Stewart McLaurin, President of the White House Historical Association, catches up with the Association's Next-Gen Leaders at the recent Presidential Sites Summit in Dallas. These advocates of White House history and all it represents, share their own experiences with Presidential history and even put Stewart on the spot.
It’s so good to hear Bartlett Sher explain how he picks a story and decides to tell it. “With To Kill a Mocking Bird.. to see the struggle….I do not need to have the answer I produce and show the problem.” Thanks Stewart
Stewart McLaurin does a fabulous job with this podcast. I love Presidential History and enjoy all the different aspects of White House history explored. Keep up the great job Stewart, and Roll Tide!!
This should be retitled…
“The Jackie Kennedy Memorial Podcast” for as often as they beat that old dead horse.