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  • Benjamin Franklin
    portrait
    This portrait of Benjamin Franklin by artist Benjamin Wilson was displayed in the Roosevelt Room during the John F. Kennedy administration. Wilson's portrait is the earliest of the three portraits of Franklin in the White House Collection. Franklin was a renowned author, inventor and philosopher who was also one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. He also served as the representative of the United States in France during the Revolutionary War. Franklin commissioned the portrait in 1758 while he was in London to argue for the right to tax the Penn family estate. Until the American Revolution, the painting hung in Franklin's Philadelphia home. However, while Franklin was in France, the home was occupied by British troops and one of them took the portrait when they left. It was returned to the United States via President Theodore Roosevelt by Albert Henry, the fourth Earl Grey in 1906, the bicentennial of Franklin's birth. In addition to being a painter, Wilson was an inventor who worked with electricity, much as Franklin did. This may account for the lightning bolt visible in the background of the portrait.
  • George Washington
    Gilbert Stuart
    portrait
    This oil on canvas portrait of President George Washington was painted by Gilbert Stuart around 1805, six years after the President’s death. This item was a gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Payson in memory of Pvt. Daniel Carroll Payson. Washington served as the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolution. He served as president from April 30, 1789 until March 4, 1797. The portrait was displayed in the Cabinet Room during the John F. Kennedy administration. Bates Littlehales photographed the portrait in May 1962 in the frame that housed the portrait at the time.
  • George Washington
    Gilbert Stuart
    portrait
    This oil on canvas portrait of President George Washington was painted by Gilbert Stuart around 1805, six years after the President’s death. This item was a gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Payson in memory of Pvt. Daniel Carroll Payson. Washington served as the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolution. He served as president from April 30, 1789 until March 4, 1797. The portrait was displayed in the Cabinet Room during the John F. Kennedy administration. Bates Littlehales photographed the portrait in May 1962 in the frame that housed the portrait at the time.
  • George Washington
    Gilbert Stuart
    portrait
    This oil on canvas portrait of President George Washington was painted by Gilbert Stuart around 1805, six years after the President’s death. This item was a gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Payson in memory of Pvt. Daniel Carroll Payson. Washington served as the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolution. He served as president from April 30, 1789 until March 4, 1797. The portrait was displayed in the Cabinet Room during the John F. Kennedy administration. Bates Littlehales photographed the portrait in May 1962 in the frame that housed the portrait at the time.
  • Alexander Hamilton
    John Trumbull
    portrait
    Cabinet
    This portrait of Alexander Hamilton, the first secretary of treasury, was painted by John Trumbull and was completed circa 1805. Trumbull, who had served as personal aide to Gen. George Washington during the Revolutionary War, painted numerous portraits which are in the White House Collection. Four of his paintings adorn the walls of the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, D.C. Hamilton was an influential figure in the early years of the United States and died following a famous duel with Vice President Aaron Burr. This portrait was photographed by Bates Littlehales in 1962 and captures the frame that housed the painting around the John F. Kennedy administration.
  • Alexander Hamilton
    John Trumbull
    portrait
    Cabinet
    This portrait of Alexander Hamilton, the first secretary of treasury, was painted by John Trumbull and was completed circa 1805. Trumbull, who had served as personal aide to Gen. George Washington during the Revolutionary War, painted numerous portraits which are in the White House Collection. Four of his paintings adorn the walls of the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, D.C. Hamilton was an influential figure in the early years of the United States and died following a famous duel with Vice President Aaron Burr. This portrait was photographed by Bates Littlehales in 1962 and captures the frame that housed the painting around the John F. Kennedy administration.
  • Alexander Hamilton
    John Trumbull
    portrait
    Cabinet
    This portrait of Alexander Hamilton, the first secretary of treasury, was painted by John Trumbull and was completed circa 1805. Trumbull, who had served as personal aide to Gen. George Washington during the Revolutionary War, painted numerous portraits which are in the White House Collection. Four of his paintings adorn the walls of the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, D.C. Hamilton was an influential figure in the early years of the United States and died following a famous duel with Vice President Aaron Burr. This portrait was photographed by Bates Littlehales in 1962 and captures the frame that housed the painting around the John F. Kennedy administration.
  • Alexander Hamilton
    John Trumbull
    portrait
    Cabinet
    This portrait of Alexander Hamilton, the first secretary of treasury, was painted by John Trumbull and was completed circa 1805. Trumbull, who had served as personal aide to Gen. George Washington during the Revolutionary War, painted numerous portraits which are in the White House Collection. Four of his paintings adorn the walls of the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, D.C. Hamilton was an influential figure in the early years of the United States and died following a famous duel with Vice President Aaron Burr. This portrait was photographed by Bates Littlehales in 1962 and captures the frame that housed the painting around the John F. Kennedy administration.
  • Sarah York Jackson
    Mayna Treanor Avent
    portrait
    This portrait is of Sarah York Jackson, the wife of President Andrew Jackson's adopted son. Mrs. Jackson assisted Emily Tennessee Donelson, niece of President Jackson and his deceased wife Rachel Jackson, with her duties as White House hostess. Bates Littlehales photographed this portrait in May 1962 in the frame that housed the portrait around the John F. Kennedy administration.
  • Sarah York Jackson
    Mayna Treanor Avent
    portrait
    This portrait is of Sarah York Jackson, the wife of President Andrew Jackson's adopted son. Mrs. Jackson assisted Emily Tennessee Donelson, niece of President Jackson and his deceased wife Rachel Jackson, with her duties as White House hostess. Bates Littlehales photographed this portrait in May 1962 in the frame that housed the portrait around the John F. Kennedy administration.
  • Sarah York Jackson
    Mayna Treanor Avent
    portrait
    This portrait is of Sarah York Jackson, the wife of President Andrew Jackson's adopted son. Mrs. Jackson assisted Emily Tennessee Donelson, niece of President Jackson and his deceased wife Rachel Jackson, with her duties as White House hostess. Bates Littlehales photographed this portrait in May 1962 in the frame that housed the portrait around the John F. Kennedy administration.
  • Old Faithful
    Albert Bierstadt
    landscape
    Hudson River School
    American West
    Yellowstone National Park
    This painting of the geyser Old Faithful was done by Albert Bierstadt. It is believed this scene was painted from sketches made by Bierstadt following a visit to Yellowstone National Park in July 1881. President Ulysses S. Grant established the park on March 1, 1872 with the signing of the Yellowstone National Park Protection Act. This law made Yellowstone the world's first national park. Bierstadt was among the Hudson River School artists of the 19th century. Bierstadt was renowned for his depictions of the American West and documenting Westward Expansion in the late 19th century. There are six pieces by Bierstadt in the White House Collection.
  • Visitors From the East: President Buchanan Greets Visitors from Far Away, 1860
    Peter Waddell
    delegation
    White House Guests
    First Family
    This 2011 oil on canvas painting by Peter Waddell depicts President James Buchanan with his niece, and White House hostess, Harriet Lane greeting three Japanese visitors to the White House. The Japanese diplomats arrived in the United States in the spring of 1860. The visit was a response to the 1852-1854 expedition to Japan by Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry that resulted in an open trade treaty between the two nations.
  • William Henry Harrison
    Unknown
    portrait
    This oil on canvas portrait of William Henry Harrison was completed by an unknown artist circa 1840 after work by artist Abel Nichols. Lightly inscribed in the lower left is the name "R.E. Earl." Harrison, known for his military service in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, came out of retirement in 1840 to win the presidential election and become the 9th president of the United States. After serving only 32 days, however, Harrison became the first president to die in office. His term remains the shortest presidential tenure to date. His grandson, Benjamin Harrison, would be elected in 1889 as the 23rd president.
  • Zachary Taylor
    Unknown
    portrait
    This portrait of President Zachary Taylor was painted by an unknown artist around 1847, just prior to his presidency. It depicts President Taylor wearing his military uniform. Taylor fought in the War of 1812, the Black Hawk War, and the Second Seminole War. His reputation as a war hero during the Mexican-American War helped propel him to the presidency.
  • Andrew Jackson
    Eliphalet Frazer Andrews
    portrait
    This 1879 oil on canvas portrait of President Andrew Jackson was completed 42 years after his presidency by Eliphalet Frazer Andrews from an original 1845 portrait by Thomas Sully. Jackson, the 7th president, was president from March 4, 1829 until March 4, 1837. Prior to his election, President Jackson served in the United States House of Representatives and United States Senate for the state of Tennessee and was a major general during the War of 1812.
  • William Henry Harrison
    Eliphalet Frazer Andrews
    portrait
    This oil on canvas portrait of President William Henry Harrison was completed by Eliphalet Frazer Andrews in 1879 after James Henry Beard's 1840 portrait. Prior to his presidential election, Harrison was an officer in the United States Army, serving during the Battle of Tippecanoe and the War of 1812. The plate on the bottom of the frame states: "William Henry Harrison 9th president born: Virginia March 4, 1841-April 4, 1841." Harrison died barely a month into his term. His grandson, Benjamin Harrison, served as the 23rd president 1889-1893.
  • Sarah Yorke Jackson
    Mayna Treanor Avent
    portrait
    First Family
    This portrait of Sarah Yorke Jackson was completed by Mayna Treanor Avent circa 1921, after a Ralph Eleaser Whiteside Earl portrait from circa 1833. Sarah Yorke Jackson was the wife of Andrew Jackson Jr., who was the adopted son of President Andrew Jackson. Sarah filled the role of White House hostess during the last months of the Jackson administration after the death of Emily Tennessee Donelson, wife of President Jackson's orphaned nephew Andrew Jackson Donelson. President Jackson and his wife, the late Rachel Jackson, served as guardians for Andrew Jackson Donelson and his siblings. Rachel never fulfilled the duties of first lady as she passed away just three months before President Jackson took office. Emily Tennessee Donelson and Sarah Yorke Jackson stepped in to fill that role and serve as White House hostess during his eight year administration.
  • Sarah Dabney Strother Taylor
    Unknown
    portrait
    First Family
    This oil on canvas portrait, completed by an unknown artist in 1822, depicts President Zachary Taylor's mother, Sarah Dabney Strother Taylor. Sarah is pictured facing left with a lace bonnet. The Taylors were farm and plantation owners, moving from Virginia to Kentucky when the future president was an infant. Prior to being elected, President Taylor served in the United States Army. He fought in the War of 1812, the Black Hawk War, and the Second Seminole War. His reputation as a war hero during the Mexican-American War helped propel him to the presidency.
  • Abigail Adams Supervising the Hanging of the Wash in the East Room
    Gordon Phillips
    First Family
    East Room
    This oil on canvas painting was created by Gordon Phillips in 1966. It depicts First Lady Abigail Adams and her granddaughter, Susanna, watching a servant hang laundry in the unfinished East Room. When President John Adams and his family moved into the White House in 1800, many of the rooms and hallways were incomplete. The East Room could not be used as a place to host receptions, so Mrs. Adams used it to dry laundry. Susanna was the daughter of Charles Adams, the President and First Lady's second son and younger brother to future president John Quincy Adams.
  • Zachary Taylor
    Eliphalet Frazer Andrews
    portrait
    This 1879 portrait of President Zachary Taylor was painted by Eliphalet Frazer Andrews and is based on a circa 1850 portrait completed by John Vanderlyn. Prior to being elected, President Taylor served in the United States Army. He fought in the War of 1812, the Black Hawk War, and the Second Seminole War. His reputation as a war hero during the Mexican-American War helped propel him to the presidency.
  • The Splendid Mrs. Madison: In the Elliptical Saloon 1810-1814
    Peter Waddell
    Blue Room
    This painting by Peter Waddell titled "The Splendid Mrs. Madison: In the Elliptical Saloon 1810-1814," depicts First Lady Dolley Madison during one of her weekly parties. Mrs. Madison was a popular White House hostess while her husband, President James Madison, was in office. The Elliptical Saloon is now known as the Blue Room, one of the State Floor parlors and one of the more recognizable rooms in the White House. The Cross Hall and Entrance Hall are visible through the open door in the background, with a glimpse of the opened North Door leading out onto the North Portico and beyond.
  • Zachary Taylor
    Unknown
    portrait
    This portrait of President Zachary Taylor was painted by an unknown artist between 1835 and 1845. Prior to being elected president, President Taylor served in the United States Army. Taylor fought in the War of 1812, the Black Hawk War, and the Second Seminole War. His reputation as a war hero during the Mexican-American War helped propel him to the presidency.
  • The Confidant: First Lady Lucy Hayes and Her Maid, 1879
    Peter Waddell
    First Family
    pets
    This modern painting of First Lady Lucy Webb Hayes and her personal maid, Mary, was commissioned by the White House Historical Association and painted by artist Peter Waddell. The painting captures Mary assisting Mrs. Hayes in a bedroom in the White House. Mary was the daughter of Winnie Monroe, who also worked in the White House as a nurse and cook. Both Mary and Winnie were close members of the Hayes household staff, moving with the family from their home state of Ohio to Washington, D.C. upon President Rutherford B. Hayes' election. On the purple chair beside the two women rests Siam, the Hayes children's pet Siamese cat. Siam was sent to the children by the American consul in Bangkok and was the first Siamese cat in the United States.
  • Ulysses S. Grant
    Unknown
    portrait
    This oil on canvas portrait is of President Ulysses S. Grant. He was the 18th President from 1869-1877. Prior to his presidency, Grant served as an officer during the Civil War, rising to the rank of lieutenant general and obtaining command of all Union Armies. He married Julia Dent in 1848 and they had four children together: Frederick, Ulysses, Nellie, and Jesse.