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  • Emigrant Scene
    W. H. Powell
    American Indians
    painting
    This painting is attributed to William Henry Powell (sometimes known as W.H. Powell), who was a New York City painter and trained under Henry Inman. The painting depicts a group of settlers and their horses around a covered wagon. An American Indian man is in the center of the group and pointing off into the distance, suggesting he is providing directions to the seated figure looking at a map. Powell's "Discovery of the Mississippi by De Soto A.D. 1541" hangs in the United States Capitol Rotunda.
  • Jane Irwin Harrison
    Unknown
    portrait
    painting
    This portrait of Jane Irwin Harrison by an unknown artist was completed c. 1841–42. Jane Findlay Irwin Harrison served as the official White House hostess briefly in 1841, during father-in-law President William Henry Harrison’s administration. She had lived with her in-laws following the death of her husband, William Henry Harrison Jr., and accompanied the president-elect to Washington, D.C. There, she received glowing reviews for the two receptions that she hosted with the help of her aunt, Jane Irwin Findlay. Her time as de-facto first lady was cut short, however, when President Harrison died on April 4, 1841, after only a month in office. With flowers placed at each ear and a veil pulled back from her face, this portrait was probably made to celebrate Jane Harrison’s second marriage, to widower Lewis Whiteman, following her return to North Bend, Ohio. Just a few years later, she succumbed to tuberculosis at age 42.
  • 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.
  • Benjamin Henry Boneval Latrobe
    Charles Willson Peale
    portraits
    likeness
    This portrait by Charles Willson Peale is of architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe. President Thomas Jefferson appointed Latrobe Surveyor of Public Buildings in 1803. Latrobe is best known as the architect who designed the U.S. Capitol, St. John's Church and Decatur House in Lafayette Square, the White House East and West Terraces, and the Madison state rooms. He was also the chief engineer for the U.S. Navy. Peale was a soldier and inventor as well as an artist and created many portraits of Revolutionary War era figures. His younger brother, James, and his son Rubens, each have pieces in the White House Collection. Joseph H. Bailey photographed the portrait for the White House Historical Association's records and publications in January 1975.
  • Benjamin Henry Boneval Latrobe
    Charles Willson Peale
    portraits
    likeness
    This portrait by Charles Willson Peale is of architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe. President Thomas Jefferson appointed Latrobe Surveyor of Public Buildings in 1803. Latrobe is best known as the architect who designed the U.S. Capitol, St. John's Church and Decatur House in Lafayette Square, the White House East and West Terraces, and the Madison state rooms. He was also the chief engineer for the U.S. Navy. Peale was a soldier and inventor as well as an artist and created many portraits of Revolutionary War era figures. His younger brother, James, and his son Rubens, each have pieces in the White House Collection. Joseph H. Bailey photographed the portrait for the White House Historical Association's records and publications in January 1975.
  • Benjamin Henry Boneval Latrobe
    Charles Willson Peale
    portraits
    likeness
    This portrait by Charles Willson Peale is of architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe. President Thomas Jefferson appointed Latrobe Surveyor of Public Buildings in 1803. Latrobe is best known as the architect who designed the U.S. Capitol, St. John's Church and Decatur House in Lafayette Square, the White House East and West Terraces, and the Madison state rooms. He was also the chief engineer for the U.S. Navy. Peale was a soldier and inventor as well as an artist and created many portraits of Revolutionary War era figures. His younger brother, James, and his son Rubens, each have pieces in the White House Collection. Joseph H. Bailey photographed the portrait for the White House Historical Association's records and publications in January 1975.
  • Benjamin Henry Boneval Latrobe
    Charles Willson Peale
    portraits
    likeness
    This portrait by Charles Willson Peale is of architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe. President Thomas Jefferson appointed Latrobe Surveyor of Public Buildings in 1803. Latrobe is best known as the architect who designed the U.S. Capitol, St. John's Church and Decatur House in Lafayette Square, the White House East and West Terraces, and the Madison state rooms. He was also the chief engineer for the U.S. Navy. Peale was a soldier and inventor as well as an artist and created many portraits of Revolutionary War era figures. His younger brother, James, and his son Rubens, each have pieces in the White House Collection. Joseph H. Bailey photographed the portrait for the White House Historical Association's records and publications in January 1975.
  • Benjamin Henry Boneval Latrobe
    Charles Willson Peale
    portraits
    likeness
    This portrait by Charles Willson Peale is of architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe. President Thomas Jefferson appointed Latrobe Surveyor of Public Buildings in 1803. Latrobe is best known as the architect who designed the U.S. Capitol, St. John's Church and Decatur House in Lafayette Square, the White House East and West Terraces, and the Madison state rooms. He was also the chief engineer for the U.S. Navy. Peale was a soldier and inventor as well as an artist and created many portraits of Revolutionary War era figures. His younger brother, James, and his son Rubens, each have pieces in the White House Collection. Joseph H. Bailey photographed the portrait for the White House Historical Association's records and publications in January 1975.
  • Theodore Roosevelt
    Tadé Styka
    portrait
    This painting of Theodore Roosevelt was painted by Polish artist Tadé Styka circa 1909. Styka depicts Roosevelt during his time with the Rough Riders, a volunteer cavalry unit that Roosevelt led during the Spanish-American War. The painting later hung in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. A former governor of New York, Roosevelt became president upon the assassination of William McKinley, on September 14, 1901 and served until March 4, 1909. This painting was acquired for the White House Collection by the White House Historical Association in 1974.
  • Theodore Roosevelt
    Tadé Styka
    portrait
    This painting of Theodore Roosevelt was painted by Polish artist Tadé Styka circa 1909. Styka depicts Roosevelt during his time with the Rough Riders, a volunteer cavalry unit that Roosevelt led during the Spanish-American War. The painting later hung in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. A former governor of New York, Roosevelt became president upon the assassination of William McKinley, on September 14, 1901 and served until March 4, 1909. This painting was acquired for the White House Collection by the White House Historical Association in 1974.
  • Going to Church
    George Henry Durrie
    landscape
    snow
    This rural landscape by George Henry Durrie was completed in 1853. A native of New England, Durrie often presented idyllic images of farm life, quiet refuges from America's rapid industrialization and escalating social and political tensions. This winter scene depicts members of a small town heading to church on foot and in horse-drawn sleighs.
  • Eleanor Roosevelt
    Douglas Chandor
    portrait
    This oil on canvas portrait of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt was painted by Douglas Chandor. Her husband, Franklin Roosevelt, was president from March 4, 1933 until his death on April 12, 1945, a span of time that included the Great Depression and the entirety of World War II. Mrs. Roosevelt advocated for many causes during her years in the White House, holding press conferences, traveling extensively, and writing a syndicated newspaper column. Following her time as first lady, Mrs. Roosevelt was appointed a delegate to the United Nations General Assembly and was the first chair of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. There, she co-drafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In 1949, Mrs. Roosevelt first sat for her portrait in Chandor's New York studio. The White House Historical Association purchased the portrait for the White House Collection. On February 4, 1966, First Lady Lady Bird Johnson invited more than 250 guests to the White House for the presentation of Eleanor Roosevelt's official portrait. Joseph J. Scherschel photographed the portrait in August 1965 at the time of its acquisition into the White House Collection.
  • Eleanor Roosevelt
    Douglas Chandor
    portrait
    This oil on canvas portrait of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt was painted by Douglas Chandor. Her husband, Franklin Roosevelt, was president from March 4, 1933 until his death on April 12, 1945, a span of time that included the Great Depression and the entirety of World War II. Mrs. Roosevelt advocated for many causes during her years in the White House, holding press conferences, traveling extensively, and writing a syndicated newspaper column. Following her time as first lady, Mrs. Roosevelt was appointed a delegate to the United Nations General Assembly and was the first chair of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. There, she co-drafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In 1949, Mrs. Roosevelt first sat for her portrait in Chandor's New York studio. The White House Historical Association purchased the portrait for the White House Collection. On February 4, 1966, First Lady Lady Bird Johnson invited more than 250 guests to the White House for the presentation of Eleanor Roosevelt's official portrait. Joseph J. Scherschel photographed the portrait in August 1965 at the time of its acquisition into the White House Collection.
  • Eleanor Roosevelt
    Douglas Chandor
    portrait
    This oil on canvas portrait of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt was painted by Douglas Chandor. Her husband, Franklin Roosevelt, was president from March 4, 1933 until his death on April 12, 1945, a span of time that included the Great Depression and the entirety of World War II. Mrs. Roosevelt advocated for many causes during her years in the White House, holding press conferences, traveling extensively, and writing a syndicated newspaper column. Following her time as first lady, Mrs. Roosevelt was appointed a delegate to the United Nations General Assembly and was the first chair of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. There, she co-drafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In 1949, Mrs. Roosevelt first sat for her portrait in Chandor's New York studio. The White House Historical Association purchased the portrait for the White House Collection. On February 4, 1966, First Lady Lady Bird Johnson invited more than 250 guests to the White House for the presentation of Eleanor Roosevelt's official portrait. Joseph J. Scherschel photographed the portrait in August 1965 at the time of its acquisition into the White House Collection.
  • Eleanor Roosevelt
    Douglas Chandor
    portrait
    This oil on canvas portrait of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt was painted by Douglas Chandor. Her husband, Franklin Roosevelt, was president from March 4, 1933 until his death on April 12, 1945, a span of time that included the Great Depression and the entirety of World War II. Mrs. Roosevelt advocated for many causes during her years in the White House, holding press conferences, traveling extensively, and writing a syndicated newspaper column. Following her time as first lady, Mrs. Roosevelt was appointed a delegate to the United Nations General Assembly and was the first chair of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. There, she co-drafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In 1949, Mrs. Roosevelt first sat for her portrait in Chandor's New York studio. The White House Historical Association purchased the portrait for the White House Collection. On February 4, 1966, First Lady Lady Bird Johnson invited more than 250 guests to the White House for the presentation of Eleanor Roosevelt's official portrait. Joseph J. Scherschel photographed the portrait in August 1965 at the time of its acquisition into the White House Collection.
  • Francis Preston Blair, Jr., Blair House Collection
    Henry Ulke
    This portrait of Francis Preston Blair, Jr. historically hangs in the library of Blair House. Blair House is located across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House and has been used as the president's guest house since the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration. Visiting diplomats and dignitaries stay at Blair House while on official visits with the White House and is also where the president-elect and first family reside prior to taking the oath of office. Blair, Jr. was the middle son of the Blair family. He chose to live in St. Louis, Missouri, where he was a real estate businessman. During the Civil War he commanded a group of volunteers from St. Louis in fighting for the Union.
  • Abigail Adams
    Gilbert Stuart
    This portrait of Abigail Adams was done by Gilbert Stuart, who was one of the most well-known portrait artists of the time. She was the wife of President John Adams and the mother of President John Quincy Adams. She traveled to Europe with her husband as he served the new United States in France and Great Britain. Although possessed of no formal education, Abigail was an avid reader and took charge of her children's education when it was interrupted by the Revolutionary War. Despite her failing health, she was the first First Lady to preside over the White House in Washington, D.C.
  • Benjamin Henry Boneval Latrobe
    Charles Willson Peale
    portraits
    likeness
    This portrait by Charles Willson Peale is of architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe. President Thomas Jefferson appointed Latrobe Surveyor of Public Buildings in 1803. Latrobe is best known as the architect who designed the U.S. Capitol, St. John's Church and Decatur House in Lafayette Square, the White House East and West Terraces, and the Madison state rooms. He was also the chief engineer for the U.S. Navy. Peale was a soldier and inventor as well as an artist and created many portraits of Revolutionary War era figures. His younger brother, James, and his son Rubens, each have pieces in the White House Collection.
  • Niagara Falls
    John Frederick Kensett
    Hudson River School
    painting
    landscapes
    This oval-shaped landscape of Niagara Falls, New York was painted by John Frederick Kensett circa 1852-1854. Niagara Falls is painted from a distance with a high rising cloud of mist rising in the center of the painting. Born in Connecticut, Kensett was known for his paintings of New York and New England and his works are associated with the Luminist style, an offshoot of the Hudson River School. Kensett was one of the founding members of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Bates Littlehales photographed the framed painting in March 1962 during the John F. Kennedy administration.
  • Niagara Falls
    John Frederick Kensett
    Hudson River School
    landscapes
    painting
    This oval-shaped landscape of Niagara Falls, New York was painted by John Frederick Kensett circa 1852-1854. Niagara Falls is painted from a distance with a high rising cloud of mist rising in the center of the painting. Born in Connecticut, Kensett was known for his paintings of New York and New England and his works are associated with the Luminist style, an offshoot of the Hudson River School. Kensett was one of the founding members of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Bates Littlehales photographed the framed painting in March 1962 during the John F. Kennedy administration.
  • Mouth of the Delaware
    Thomas Birch
    ship
    seascape
    Delaware
    Delaware River
    This seascape of ships and boats crossing the rough current of the Delaware River was painted by Thomas Birch in 1828. The small rowboats are possibly harbor pilots who would help larger vessels navigate the Delaware River and Delaware Bay. It is likely this seascape takes place in Lewes, Delaware near Cape Henlopen due to the presence of these harbor pilots. Birch was born in Britain and came to the United States in 1794. He primarily worked in portraits and marine paintings. Bates Littlehales photographed the framed painting in March 1962 during the John F. Kennedy administration.
  • Niagara Falls
    John Frederick Kensett
    Hudson River School
    landscapes
    painting
    This oval-shaped landscape of Niagara Falls, New York was painted by John Frederick Kensett circa 1852-1854. Niagara Falls is painted from a distance with a high rising cloud of mist rising in the center of the painting. Born in Connecticut, Kensett was known for his paintings of New York and New England and his works are associated with the Luminist style, an offshoot of the Hudson River School. Kensett was one of the founding members of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Bates Littlehales photographed the framed painting in March 1962 during the John F. Kennedy administration.
  • The First Naval Action in the War of 1812
    William John Huggins
    ship
    seascape
    War of 1812
    This painting by William John Huggins depicting the first naval battle of the War of 1812, with several warships seen sailing on the horizon was completed in 1816. The watercolor captures the first naval action that broke out between the United States and Great Britain when the HMS Belvidera encountered the frigates USS President and USS United States and the sloops Hornet and Argus on June 23, 1812. The USS Congress, which was also present at the engagement, is not pictured. The British were not aware war had been declared when the American ships fired upon them. The Belvidera was able to evade and escape the confrontation. This same event is captured in a different painting in the White House Collection by James Stilwell. Huggins was a British artist well-known for his marine landscapes featuring ships. Bates Littlehales photographed the framed painting in March 1962 during the John F. Kennedy administration.
  • Still Life with Fruit
    Rubens Peale
    fruit
    still lifes
    painting
    food
    This still life by American artist Rubens Peale was painted circa 1862. The oil on canvas still life captures an array of grapes, melon, and peaches or apples strewn across a tabletop along with a white cloth. Peale was the son of Charles Willson Peale, whose portrait of Benjamin Henry Latrobe is in the White House Collection, and the nephew of James Peale, who also has two still lifes in the White House Collection. Bates Littlehales photographed the painting in March 1962 during the John F. Kennedy administration.
  • The First Naval Action in the War of 1812
    William John Huggins
    ship
    seascape
    War of 1812
    This painting by William John Huggins depicting the first naval battle of the War of 1812, with several warships seen sailing on the horizon was completed in 1816. The watercolor captures the first naval action that broke out between the United States and Great Britain when the HMS Belvidera encountered the frigates USS President and USS United States and the sloops Hornet and Argus on June 23, 1812. The USS Congress, which was also present at the engagement, is not pictured. The British were not aware war had been declared when the American ships fired upon them. The Belvidera was able to evade and escape the confrontation. This same event is captured in a different painting in the White House Collection by James Stilwell. Huggins was a British artist well-known for his marine landscapes featuring ships. Bates Littlehales photographed the framed painting in March 1962 during the John F. Kennedy administration.