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  • Southwest View of the Family Dining Room, Decatur House
    Bruce White
    Decatur House
    This photograph of the family dining room in Decatur House was taken by Bruce White on December 17, 2017. The reproduction 19th century dining room table is set with Chinese export famille rose dinnerware and Beale family silver from the Decatur House Collection. On the mantel is a statue called the Bronco Buster by Frederic Remington. The painting above the mantel is Horses Quenching Their Thirst, Camels Disdaining by Ernest E. de F. Narjot and depicts the U.S. Camel Corps, an experimental military unit. Completed in 1818, Decatur House was the third building on Lafayette Square and its first private residence. It was designed by Benjamin Henry Latrobe, the architect of the Capitol and several other famous buildings, for Commodore Stephen Decatur (1779-1820) and his wife, Susan Wheeler Decatur. Tragically, on March 22, 1820 Stephen Decatur was mortally wounded during a duel. After his death, his widow Susan Decatur rented out the house to foreign ministers and several secretaries of state. The house was eventually sold and passed through several hands, including the Gadsby family, the U.S. Subsistence Bureau, and the Beale family. Marie Ogle Beale, a society maven and the last owner left the house to National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1961. In 2010, the White House Historical Association and National Trust entered into a co-stewardship arrangement of Decatur House.
  • Kakemono Panel: A Pheasant in Flowering Branches
    Utagawa Kunitsuru
    painting
    Decatur House
    textiles
    This is a kakemono panel (also known as a vertical hanging scroll) containing either text or a painting, intended to be viewed on a wall and rolled when not in use. It was created in 1872 by the artist Utagawa Kunitsuru and depicts a pheasant among flowering branches. This is one of a set of six paintings that President Ulysses S. Grant gifted to Gen. Edward Beale and was displayed in the dining room of Decatur House and remain a part of the Decatur House Collection. After nearly 150 years, they began to deteriorate, but with funding provided by the Sumitomo Foundation, they were conserved to their original state.
  • Open Doors of the Front Hall, Decatur House
    Bruce White
    Decatur House
    Washington, D.C.
    This photograph of the open doors in the curved doorway of Decatur House was taken by Bruce White on December 18, 2017. The doors lead to the main staircase which takes guests to the upstairs parlors. The doorway also features wooden faux vaulting, including a shallow dome. Completed in 1818, Decatur House was the third building on Lafayette Square and its first private residence. It was designed by Benjamin Henry Latrobe, the architect of the Capitol and several other famous buildings, for Commodore Stephen Decatur (1779-1820) and his wife, Susan Wheeler Decatur. Tragically, on March 22, 1820 Stephen Decatur was mortally wounded during a duel. After his death, his widow Susan Decatur rented out the house to foreign ministers and several secretaries of state. The house was eventually sold and passed through several hands, including the Gadsby family, the U.S. Subsistence Bureau, and the Beale family. Marie Ogle Beale, a society maven and the last owner left the house to National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1961. In 2010, the White House Historical Association and National Trust entered into a co-stewardship arrangement of Decatur House.
  • Closed Doors of the Front Hall, Decatur House
    Bruce White
    Decatur House
    Washington, D.C.
    This photograph of the closed doors in the curved doorway of the Decatur House was taken by Bruce White on December 18, 2017. The doors lead to the main staircase which takes guests to the upstairs parlors. The doorway also features wooden faux vaulting, including a shallow dome. Completed in 1818, Decatur House was the third building on Lafayette Square and its first private residence. It was designed by Benjamin Henry Latrobe, the architect of the Capitol and several other famous buildings, for Commodore Stephen Decatur (1779-1820) and his wife, Susan Wheeler Decatur. Tragically, on March 22, 1820 Stephen Decatur was mortally wounded during a duel. After his death, his widow Susan Decatur rented out the house to foreign ministers and several secretaries of state. The house was eventually sold and passed through several hands, including the Gadsby family, the U.S. Subsistence Bureau, and the Beale family. Marie Ogle Beale, a society maven and the last owner left the house to National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1961. In 2010, the White House Historical Association and National Trust entered into a co-stewardship arrangement of Decatur House.
  • Kakemono Panel: Woman Holding a Parasol
    Utagawa Kunitsuru
    painting
    Decatur House
    textiles
    This is a kakemono panel (also known as a vertical hanging scroll) containing either text or a painting, intended to be viewed on a wall and rolled when not in use. It was created in 1872 by the artist Utagawa Kunitsuru and depicts a woman holding a parasol during a gentle snowfall. This is one of a set of six paintings that President Ulysses S. Grant gifted to Gen. Edward Beale and displayed in the dining room of Decatur House and remain a part of the Decatur House Collection. After nearly 150 years, they began to deteriorate, but with funding provided by the Sumitomo Foundation, they were conserved to their original state.
  • Kakemono Panel: Woman With A Shamisen
    Utagawa Kunitsuru
    painting
    Decatur House
    textiles
    This is a kakemono panel (also known as a vertical hanging scroll) containing either text or a painting, intended to be viewed on a wall and rolled when not in use. It was created in 1872 by the artist Utagawa Kunitsuru and depicts a woman holding the three-stringed instrument or shamisen. This is one of a set of six paintings that President Ulysses S. Grant gifted to Gen. Edward Beale and displayed in the dining room of Decatur House and remain a part of the Decatur House Collection. After nearly 150 years, they began to deteriorate, but with funding provided by the Sumitomo Foundation, they were conserved to their original state.
  • Kakemono Panel: A Pair of Cranes Under A Crabapple Tree
    Utagawa Kunitsuru
    painting
    Decatur House
    textiles
    This is a kakemono panel (also known as a vertical hanging scroll) containing either text or a painting, intended to be viewed on a wall and rolled when not in use. It was created in 1872 by the artist Utagawa Kunitsuru and depicts two cranes beneath a crabapple tree. This is one of a set of six paintings that President Ulysses S. Grant gifted to Gen. Edward Beale and displayed in the dining room of Decatur House and remain a part of the Decatur House Collection. After nearly 150 years, they began to deteriorate, but with funding provided by the Sumitomo Foundation, they were conserved to their original state.
  • Kakemono Panel: Woman in A Snowstorm
    Utagawa Kunitsuru
    painting
    Decatur House
    textiles
    This is a kakemono panel (also known as a vertical hanging scroll) containing either text or a painting, intended to be viewed on a wall and rolled when not in use. It was created in 1872 by the artist Utagawa Kunitsuru and depicts a woman braving a snowstorm. This is one of a set of six paintings that President Ulysses S. Grant gifted to Gen. Edward Beale and displayed in the dining room of Decatur House and remain a part of the Decatur House Collection. After nearly 150 years, they began to deteriorate, but with funding provided by the Sumitomo Foundation, they were conserved to their original state.
  • Kakemono Panels: Man With Swords
    Utagawa Kunitsuru
    painting
    Decatur House
    textiles
    This is a kakemono panel (also known as a vertical hanging scroll) containing either text or a painting, intended to be viewed on a wall and rolled when not in use. It was created in 1872 by the artist Utagawa Kunitsuru and depicts a man with swords near a flowering tree. This is one of a set of six paintings that President Ulysses S. Grant gifted to Gen. Edward Beale and displayed in the dining room of Decatur House and remain a part of the Decatur House Collection. After nearly 150 years, they began to deteriorate, but with funding provided by the Sumitomo Foundation, they were conserved to their original state.
  • First Floor Parlor Fireplace, Decatur House
    Bruce White
    Decatur House
    furnishings
    This photograph of a fireplace in one of the first-floor parlors of Decatur House was taken by Bruce White on December 8, 2017. The room is furnished with a selection of comfortable period reproductions and pieces from the Decatur House Collection and the first-floor parlors are now used as a special meeting and reception space by the White House Historical Association. Decorative arts objects from the collection on display in this photograph are Stephen Decatur’s 1812 presentation sword and one of a pair of figural candelabra owned by Marie Ogle Beale. Completed in 1818, Decatur House was the third building on Lafayette Square and its first private residence. It was designed by Benjamin Henry Latrobe, the architect of the Capitol and several other famous buildings, for Commodore Stephen Decatur (1779-1820) and his wife, Susan Wheeler Decatur. Tragically, on March 22, 1820 Stephen Decatur was mortally wounded during a duel. After his death, his widow Susan Decatur rented out the house to foreign ministers and several secretaries of state. The house was eventually sold and passed through several hands, including the Gadsby family, the U.S. Subsistence Bureau, and the Beale family. Marie Ogle Beale, a society maven and the last owner left the house to National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1961. In 2010, the White House Historical Association and National Trust entered into a co-stewardship arrangement of Decatur House.
  • The Great Seal of California, Decatur House
    Unknown
    Decatur House
    California
    Washington, D.C.
    This parquet flooring and wood representation of the great seal of California was installed in the Decatur House dining room between 1872 and 1874. It was part of several changes Edward Fitzgerald Beale and his wife, Mary Edwards Beale instituted after they purchased the property in 1871. The Beales were the last family to own Decatur House. Completed in 1818, Decatur House was the third building on Lafayette Square and its first private residence. It was designed by Benjamin Henry Latrobe, the architect of the Capitol and several other famous buildings, for Commodore Stephen Decatur (1779-1820) and his wife, Susan Wheeler Decatur. Tragically, on March 22, 1820 Stephen Decatur was mortally wounded during a duel. After his death, his widow Susan Decatur rented out the house to foreign ministers and several secretaries of state. The house was eventually sold and passed through several hands, including the Gadsby family, the U.S. Subsistence Bureau, and the Beale family. Marie Ogle Beale, a society maven and the last owner left the house to National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1961. In 2010, the White House Historical Association and National Trust entered into a co-stewardship arrangement of Decatur House.
  • Horses Quenching Their Thirst, Camels Disdaining, Decatur House Collection
    Ernest E. de F. Narjot
    painting
    Decatur House
    This oil on canvas painting of the U.S. Camel Corps was completed by Ernest E. de F. Narjot in 1867. The painting depicts horses drinking eagerly with camels in the background. The painting highlights the usefulness of camels as back animals in the American southwest during military operations and had been championed by Gen. Edward Beale. Beale was a western adventurer naval officer, explorer, frontiersman, superintendent of Indian affairs, California rancher, and later a diplomat. Beale would help form the U.S. Camel Corp and the experiment lasted from 1856-1866. This painting commemorates the corps and is part of the Decatur House Collection. The Decatur House, which is also home to the David M. Rubenstein National Center for White House History, was completed in 1818. It was the third building on Lafayette Square and its first private residence. It was designed by Benjamin Henry Latrobe, the architect of the Capitol and several other famous buildings, for Commodore Stephen Decatur (1779-1820) and his wife, Susan Wheeler Decatur. Tragically, on March 22, 1820 Stephen Decatur was mortally wounded during a duel. After his death, his widow Susan Decatur rented out the house to foreign ministers and several secretaries of state. The house was eventually sold and passed through several hands, including the Gadsby family, the U.S. Subsistence Bureau, and the Beale family. Marie Ogle Beale, a society maven and the last owner left the house to National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1961. In 2010, the White House Historical Association and National Trust entered into a co-stewardship arrangement of Decatur House.
  • Decatur House Dining Room
    Bruce White
    Decatur House
    Washington, D.C.
    This photograph of the Decatur House dining room was taken by Bruce White on September 20, 2017. On the walls are a set of six Kakemono panels painted on silk that President Ulysses S. Grant gifted Gen. Edward Beale. The room also features parquet flooring with the inset of the great seal of California which Beale and his wife, Mary had installed between 1872-1874. On the ceiling is an ornate twelve-armed chandelier with frosted globes and two rows of dangling, faceted spear prisms, which was purchased at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exposition. The chandelier was installed for the Beales in 1880 and eventually converted from gas to electric. The Decatur House was completed in 1818. The house was the third building on Lafayette Square and its first private residence. It was designed by Benjamin Henry Latrobe, the architect of the Capitol and several other famous buildings, for Commodore Stephen Decatur (1779-1820) and his wife, Susan Wheeler Decatur. Tragically, on March 22, 1820 Stephen Decatur was mortally wounded during a duel. After his death, his widow Susan Decatur rented out the house to foreign ministers and several secretaries of state. The house was eventually sold and passed through several hands, including the Gadsby family, the U.S. Subsistence Bureau, and the Beale family. Marie Ogle Beale, a society maven and the last owner left the house to National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1961. In 2010, the White House Historical Association and National Trust entered into a co-stewardship arrangement of Decatur House.