"We looked for the pieces that had the best stories," said Allman.
If you go
Something of Splendor: Decorative Arts from the White House
Through May 6 at the Smithsonian American Art Museum's Renwick Gallery at 17th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. except Dec. 25. Admission is free.
A 13-minute film, "At Home in the White House," features former residents of the White House, like Susan Ford Bales and Rosalynn Carter, talking about their experiences living there.
An illustrated catalog that tells the story of the exhibit is available for $14.95.
More information, including a schedule of special events and programs, can be found at americanart.si.edu.