1996 White House Holiday Card
Washington, DC -- The 1996 White House Holiday Card is a reproduction of
Thomas McKnight's "White House Green Room." Featuring the Green Room,
the casein on canvas painting was done especially for this year's Holiday
Card. (Casein is the mixing of paint pigment with a milk protein.)
The card was printed by American Greetings at its Corbin, Kentucky plant
and will be sent to approximately 300,000 families.
Features the Green Room
American artist Thomas McKnight who lives in Palm Beach, Florida
and Litchfield, Connecticut, also created 1994 and 1995 Holiday Cards,
which featured the White House's Red Room and Blue Room. Mr. McKnight
began working on this year's Holiday Card during the past summer.
In 1982, McKnight was one of thirty artists selected to paint
Easter eggs for a White House and Smithsonian exhibit, and his
1988 serigraph "Constitution" was chosen as the official image for
the U.S. Constitution Bicentennial. A print of the serigraph by
McKnight hangs in the private quarters of the White House.
The Democratic National Committee paid for all production and
mailing costs associated with this year's card. Reproduction of the
1996 White House Holiday Card must credit the artist, Thomas
- Stockings for the President, Mrs. Clinton and Chelsea are
hung on the mantel.
- Socks, the first cat, is sitting beside the fire.
- Sleeping under the Christmas Tree is "Shadow" the McKnight family dog.
- The painting above the cabinet is the view from the
artist's summer house in Litchfield, Connecticut, a memory of
magical July evening with the moon descending in the west.
The Green Room:
Throughout most of its existence the Green Room has served as a
parlor for teas and receptions.
However, Thomas Jefferson used the Green Room as his dining room, as was
originally intended by the architect of the White House, James Hoban. In
1803, the room was known as the "Common Dining Room" and by 1809 as the
"Small Dining Room." Here Jefferson dined with his guests at an oval
table to avoid problems of protocol imposed by rectangular seating plans.
Beginning with the Madison administration, the room was the "President's
Sitting Room," and became the "Card Room" under his successor, James
By John Quincy Adams' tenure, the room had become the "Green Drawing
Room," named for the color of the draperies and upholsteries, although
it had acquired a green canvas floor cloth as early as the Jefferson
Administration and green silk curtains in
Monroe's time. Green has remained the color of the room to this day.
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