For Immediate Release:
Contact: Jill Burwitz (ALPLM)
(217) 558-8970 office
(217) 299-6165 cell
November 21, 2005
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum to unveil new
temporary exhibit "Christmas at the White House"
Exhibit showcases several presidential Christmases with artifacts, memorabilia and videos
SPRINGFIELD, IL: On November 25, the Illinois Gallery will open its doors to the public to reveal "Christmas at the White House." This spectacular display will afford visitors an intimate glimpse into America's favorite holiday and how it has been celebrated through the years at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
"The people of Illinois have been very good to us in 2005, and Christmas at the White House is one way we can say thanks," said ALPLM Executive Director Richard Norton Smith.
On display in the exhibit are 14 Christmas tree that reflect each of the following administrations:
Plus two more trees decorated with ornaments from the White House Historical Association and the Museum Store.
||George W. Bush
Each tree is decorated with replica ornaments, many hand-made by Museum volunteers. Original ornaments used in the White House during the Johnson, Ford, Clinton and Bush presidencies will also be displayed. Other attractions include:
Mary Evans Seeley Collection: Mary and her husband
have the most extensive collection of Presidential Christmas memorabilia
in the country. The collection includes presidential Christmas cards
and gifts given by and to various first families.
Hayes Dollhouse: In 1878, Rutherford B. Hayes gave
this oversized dollhouse to his daughter Fanny. The President had
it specially built for his only daughter by a local carpenter for
Gingerbread House: Built by "Secret Recipes" of Chatham,
IL, this delectable creation, inspired by a similar confection at
the Reagan White House, is constructed of 150 pounds of flour, 50
pounds of sugar, 75 chocolate bars and several other sweets. In addition,
25 hours of baking and construction as well as 40 hours of decorating
went into the masterpiece. The entire project was recorded on video
from start to finish and visitors to the exhibit can watch it in time-lapse
Lincoln Portrait: One of the Museum's own, this likeness
of Lincoln was painted from life at the White House in 1862 by Alban
Christmas Pink: Forget the traditional red and green.
This year, experience Christmas in pink. Pastel pink characterized
Mamie Eisenhower ‚ from her famed pink inaugural gown to her pink
bedroom furniture. And because of her love for all things pink, a
Christmas tree in pink will light up in her honor.
Other trees throughout the Library and Museum:
David Davis Mansion Tree: located in the Museum Gateway,
this twelve foot tree was decorated by David Davis site interpreters
to reflect a very Victorian Christmas
Plaza Tree: This 22 foot tree makes a statement in
the Plaza. The tree is adorned with almost 200 hand-made beaded and
jeweled snowflake ornaments and 400 paper snowflakes cut by hand.
All ornaments were made through the generosity of Museum volunteers.
State of Illinois Tree: located in the Library Atrium,
this tree is all things Illinois. Wrapping the tree from top to bottom
is garland with the name of every county in the state. Plus, copies
of vintage postcards from around Illinois including pictures of county
courthouses help make this the state tree.
Duck Tree: Right next to the Illinois tree is a tree
that shouts "quack ‚ quack!" This little tree is decorated with yellow
ducks handmade by the little ones at Scope Daycare and Pre-School.
Cookie Tree: Also next to the Illinois tree is another
kid creation. This tree is decorated with bells and gingerbread men
made by kids at the Children's House. Williamsville Jr. High students
made the snowflakes that decorate all three trees in the Library.
"Christmas at the White House" will be on display November 25 ‚ January 8, 2006.