THE WHITE HOUSE IN MINIATURE by Gail Buckland

THE WHITE HOUSE IN MINIATURE

KIRKUS REVIEW

 No doubt about it--this book, which presents (with infinite care) the miniature White House constructed by John and Jan Zweifel (with more than infinite care), is astonishing. The miniature White House, built on a one-foot-to-one-inch scale, is beyond astonishing, replicating each room of the real White House down to floral arrangements, dining services, and, when possible, hand carvings on table legs. Kathleen Culbert-Aguilar's photographs (accompanied by Cooper Union professor Buckland's text) seem designed to accomplish two things: first, to allow us access to places, like the Reagans' bedroom, not included in the normal White House tour; second, to make us wonder at the craftsmanship of the replica. This she does by means of clever interventions like putting a real poker hand (a full house) in the model Green Room. The persistence of the Zweifels, who first got the Kennedy administration interested in the project but weren't allowed into the White House to take the necessary measurements and pictures until the Ford administration (Gerald Ford and his wife contribute the foreword), is boggling. But isn't this fetishistic reverence for executive wallpaper also a bit perverse? What does it mean that we want to banish the presidency to Lilliput? And how come there aren't any toilets?

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-393-03663-4
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Norton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 1994




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