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  • 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.
    Keywords: delegation, White House Guests, First Family
    Last Modified: 3/28/2017
    File name: 9388.tif
  • 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.
    Keywords: First Family, East Room
    Last Modified: 3/28/2017
    File name: 127.tif
  • 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.
    Keywords: Blue Room
    Last Modified: 3/28/2017
    File name: 9308.tif
  • In this illustration, President John Quincy Adams dances with his new daughter-in-law, Mary Catherine Hellen, at his son's wedding on February 25, 1828. The groom, John Adams II, speaks with his mother, First Lady Louisa Catherine Adams, on the left, while Dr. William Hawley, the officiating clergyman and rector of nearby St. John's Episcopal Church, stands near the mirror on the right. The room is likely the Elliptical Saloon, today known as the Blue Room, one of the State Floor parlors.
    Keywords: First Family, wedding
    Last Modified: 3/28/2017
    File name: 2030.tif
  • 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.
    Keywords: First Family, pets
    Last Modified: 3/9/2017
    File name: 9484.tif
  • This is a modern day painting by John Hutton imagining what Martha Jefferson, the wife of Thomas Jefferson would have looked like when she was alive. There are no surviving historical portraits of Mrs. Jefferson, but family tradition holds she was accomplished, well read, and beautiful. Martha Jefferson died due to complications from childbirth in 1782. Thomas Jefferson was president from 1801 to 1809.
    Keywords: portrait
    Last Modified: 1/10/2017
    File name: 1113206.tif
  • This armchair historically sits in the Rear Drawing Room of Blair House. Blair House is located across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House and is known as the President's Guest House. Visiting diplomats and dignitaries stay at Blair House while on official visits with the White House and is historically where the president-elect and first family reside prior to taking the oath of office. Gist Blair, one of the many members of the Blair family to reside there, enjoyed collecting antiques and acquired this mid-Georgian armchair for Blair House. Jacqueline Kennedy selected the custom-made tapestry upholstery seen on the chair today.
    Keywords:
    Last Modified: 1/3/2017
    File name: 1113063.tif
  • This British-made armchair is from the early 19th century. The chair reflects the Louis XV style that emerged from France during that time. The chair is historically located in the Lee House Drawing Room. Lee House is a part of the four building complex commonly known as Blair House. This complex is located across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House and serves as a guest house for the president. Visiting diplomats and dignitaries stay at Blair House while on official visits with the White House and is where the president-elect and first family reside prior to taking the oath of office.
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    Last Modified: 1/3/2017
    File name: 1113062.tif
  • This is an English tea table that is located in the Lee House Drawing Room. The scalloped edge of the table is for saucers and tea cups. This table is likely made out of South American mahogany. Lee House is a part of the Blair House complex, located across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House. Visiting diplomats and dignitaries stay at Blair House while on official visits with the White House and is historically where the president-elect and first family reside prior to taking the oath of office.
    Keywords:
    Last Modified: 1/3/2017
    File name: 1113196.tif
  • This is a shaving stand from the mid 19th century, originally owned by Montgomery Blair. This piece is still located in the North Bedroom of Blair House where Blair used it to shave. The stand stored all the materials needed to shave except for the water in the shaving mug. Blair House is located across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House and is known as the President's Guest House. Visiting diplomats and dignitaries stay at Blair House while on official visits with the White House and is historically where the president-elect and first family reside prior to taking the oath of office. Montgomery Blair served as postmaster general during the Lincoln administration.
    Keywords:
    Last Modified: 1/3/2017
    File name: 1113065.tif
  • This is a commemorative cream-ware bowl that is a part of the Curio Room collection in Blair House. The bowl commemorates the return of the Marquis de Lafayette to the United States in 1824-1825. The image of Lafayette copies the Ary Scheffer portrait that can be found in the House of Representatives. 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 historically where the president-elect and first family reside prior to taking the oath of office.
    Keywords:
    Last Modified: 12/1/2016
    File name: 1113048.tif
  • This is a lion statuette made by one of the Bennington Pottery factories of Bennington, Vermont circa 1850.  While the Blair family collected this piece as an antique, its original purpose may have been to serve as a doorstop. The Blair family resided in Blair House beginning in 1837, when the family, lead by family patriarch Francis Preston Blair, moved to Washington, D.C. from Kentucky. 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 historically where the president-elect and first family reside prior to taking the oath of office.
    Keywords:
    Last Modified: 12/1/2016
    File name: 1113049.tif
  • This is a tortoiseshell tea caddy from 1815 that is part of Blair family collection. It is made of carved tortoiseshell mounted with silver. Gothic arches are carved into the faces of the caddy. The elegance of this piece speaks to the value of tea in the United States. The Blair family were residents of the eponymous Blair House beginning in 1837. 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 historically where the president-elect and first family reside prior to taking the oath of office.
    Keywords:
    Last Modified: 12/1/2016
    File name: 1113050.tif