Beginning with its first resident, President John Adams, the White House has witnessed countless holidays, celebrations, and official functions. Each has reflected its time and technologies and the distinctive personality, style, and vision of a first lady. She chooses the theme, colors, flowers, place settings, and location for events with an eye toward protocol and established traditions. Presidential entertaining in the modern era has only continued to grow in scale and artistic creativity.
Join curator Elizabeth Lay, host of the Lunchtime with a Curator decorative arts series, as she welcomes John Botello, creative manager of the White House–Executive Residence, for an image-rich program on 21st-century style at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. He offers behind-the-scenes glimpses of his work on events and interior design, and shares what goes into planning—down to the smallest detail—projects from a state dinner to the annual holiday decorations. Before his current role, Botello served at Blair House, the U.S. State Department, the White House Historical Association, the Smithsonian, and Hillwood Estate, Museum, and Gardens.