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  • Tiber Creek: the Bathers, John Quincy Adams Takes A Deadly Chance, 1825
    Peter Waddell
    south view
    This oil painting by artist Peter Waddell depicts a historical scene that occurred during John Quincy Adams' presidency. Adams liked to swim in the Tiber River, which ran to the south of the White House where Constitution Avenue is today. On June 13, 1825, Adams ventured to the river with his son John and his servant Antoine Michel Giusta. Adams and Giusta climbed into a small canoe. The leaky canoe quickly began to fill with water and was swept out toward the Potomac River. Adams survived the incident, thanks to the assistance of his servant; in his diary he noted: "By the mercy of God our lives were spared, and no injury befell our persons." Waddell conducted in depth historical research before painting the scene, which he completed in 2009 during Barack Obama's administration. ***Interior use only for publications***
  • A Vision Takes Form: the White House Under Construction, 1796
    Peter Waddell
    west view
    This oil painting entitled A Vision Takes Form was completed by artist Peter Waddell in 2007, during George W. Bush's administration. The White House Historical Association commissioned the painting to illustrate 18th century construction processes, materials, and equipment to depict the construction site and its surroundings as it may have appeared in 1796. In the foreground are a group that included White House architect James Hoban, master carpenter Pierce Purcell, a D.C. commissioner, and architect William Thornton, surveying the construction of the White House. ***Interior use only for publications***