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  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Presentation Sword, Decatur House Collection
    William Rose
    Unknown
    furnishings
    swords
    Decatur House
    This sword was presented to Commodore Stephen Decatur by the Commonwealth of Virginia following his capture of the Macedonia on October 25, 1812. The blade was created in Philadelphia by William Rose and features an ivory and parcel-gilt hilt topped with a cast eagle, silver gilt plate, and brass stripes on the edges, and inlaid with gold foliage and silver lettering. An inscription on the blade reads, “In testimony of the splendid naval talents and valor displayed by Commodore Stephen Decatur commanding the United States Frigate UNITED STATES in the capture of the English Frigate MACEDONIA 25th, October 1812.” This presentation sword is part of the collection at Decatur House. In 2010, the White House Historical Association and National Trust entered into co-stewardship arrangement and Decatur House now serves as the David M. Rubenstein National Center for White House History.
  • Sewing Table, Decatur House Collection
    Unknown
    furniture
    furnishings
    tables
    Decatur House
    This sewing table is made of wood and coated with between three and fifteen layers of fine black and gold lacquer. The sewing table was made in the early 19th century and is believed to have been an engagement gift from Stephen Decatur to his fiancée — a “Miss. King.” The King family passed the table down from generation to generation despite the couple not marrying. Stephen Decatur would go on to marry Susan Wheeler. The sewing table was made in China for the American market and originally had a silk bag attached to it, which was replaced with a mauve damask fabric in the 20th century. This table is a part of Decatur House Collection. In 2010, the White House Historical Association and National Trust entered into co-stewardship arrangement and Decatur House now serves as the David M. Rubenstein National Center for White House History.
  • Celestial Globe, Decatur House Collection
    W. & T. M. Bardin
    furnishings
    Decatur House
    This celestial globe was created by William and Thomas Marriott Bardin (professionally known as W. & T. M. Bardin) circa 1800 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The globe is made of wood, brass, and glass and set on a three-legged wooden stand. There is a round compass at the juncture of the stretchers and the sphere and stand both have the months and zodiac names on it. The globe captures the position of stars observed in 1800 by Dr. William Hershel and is dedicated to Rev. Nevil Maskelyne, astronomer royal. This globe is one of a pair in the Decatur House Collection. The other is a terrestrial globe. It is believed these globes are part of the 1820 estate inventory of Decatur House. In 2010, the White House Historical Association and National Trust entered into co-stewardship arrangement and Decatur House now serves as the David M. Rubenstein National Center for White House History.
  • Presentation Sword and Scabbard, Decatur House Collection
    William Rose
    Unknown
    furnishings
    swords
    Decatur House
    This sword and scabbard was presented to Commodore Stephen Decatur by the Commonwealth of Virginia following his capture of the Macedonia on October 25, 1812. The blade was created in Philadelphia by William Rose and features an ivory and parcel-gilt hilt topped with a cast eagle, silver gilt plate, and brass stripes on the edges, and inlaid with gold foliage and silver lettering. An inscription on the blade reads, “In testimony of the splendid naval talents and valor displayed by Commodore Stephen Decatur commanding the United States Frigate UNITED STATES in the capture of the English Frigate MACEDONIA 25th, October 1812.” The scabbard is made of gilt silver with cast-applied nautical decorations. This presentation sword and scabbard are a part of the collection at Decatur House. In 2010, the White House Historical Association and National Trust entered into co-stewardship arrangement and Decatur House now serves as the David M. Rubenstein National Center for White House History.
  • Holiday Card from President and Mrs. Johnson, 1968
    White House Calligraphy Office
    south view
    print
    holidays
    South Lawn
    Christmas
    Washington Monument
    Jefferson Memorial
    This is the illustrated side of a holiday card that was presented to White House Executive Chef Henry Haller from First Lady Lady Bird Johnson and President Lyndon B. Johnson in December 1968. The card features an illustration by Robert Laessig of the South Grounds as seen from the South Portico, with the Jefferson Monument and Washington Monument visible in the distance. The card includes a note from the presidential couple, declaring "appreciation" and "warmest wishes" for "all the years ahead." The Johnson's 1968 holiday card marked both the passing of the holiday season as well as the end of the Johnson administration, with the inauguration of President Richard M. Nixon the following month. To see the full card, see 1128399. This card is part of a personal collection belonging to Chef Haller. In the position, Haller served five first families and their distinguished guests from 1966-1987.
  • Holiday Card from President and Mrs. Johnson, 1967
    White House Calligraphy Office
    Christmas
    holidays
    Blue Room
    State Floor
    print
    This is the interior of a Christmas card that was presented to White House Executive Chef Henry Haller from First Lady Lady Bird Johnson and President Lyndon B. Johnson in December 1967. This was Haller's second Christmas at the White House, though he was to remain executive chef until 1987. The card features an illustration by Robert Laessig of the official White House Christmas tree, positioned in its traditional spot in the center of the Blue Room. The back of the card discusses the tradition of Christmas trees in the White House. To view the card in its entirety, see 1128401. This card is part of a personal collection belonging to Chef Haller. In the position, Haller served five first families and their distinguished guests from 1966-1987.
  • Holiday Card from President and Mrs. Johnson, 1966
    White House Calligraphy Office
    Christmas
    North Drive
    North Portico
    holidays
    north view
    print
    North Grounds
    This Christmas card was presented to White House Executive Chef Henry Haller from First Lady Lady Bird Johnson and President Lyndon B. Johnson in December 1966. This was Haller's first Christmas at the White House, though he was to remain as executive chef until 1987. The card features an illustration by Robert Laessig of the North Portico, festively decorated for the holidays. The opposite side of the card includes a description of the American Elm tree featured in the illustration, which was planted by President Woodrow Wilson in December 1913. To view the card in its entirety, see 1128398. This card is part of a personal collection belonging to Chef Haller. In the position, Haller served five first families and their distinguished guests from 1966-1987.
  • The Flag of the President
    Arthur E. Dubois
    flag
    This presidential flag was a new design ordered from Arthur E. DuBois and George M. Elsey by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. It was a sample submitted for President Harry Truman's approval in August 1945. This flag was first publicly flown on October 27, 1945 when the aircraft carrier Franklin D. Roosevelt was commissioned at Brooklyn Navy Yard. The flag presently remains the same except for the addition of two stars to represent Alaska and Hawaii. Although this is the flag of the president's arms, since it lacks the words around the edge, the flag is not a representation of the official Seal of the President. This photograph was taken by William Phillips.
  • Close Up, East Room Crèche
    Otis Imboden
    holidays
    State Floor
    East Room
    Christmas
    creche
    This photograph, taken in December 1971, shows the 18th century crèche (or nativity scene) on display in the East Room during the Richard M. Nixon administration. The crèche was donated to the White House Collection by Mrs. Charles W. Engelhard, Jr. of Far Hills, New Jersey in 1967. The donation included 39 hand-painted figurines. The 14 foot tall crèche setting display was built by Tony Award-winning stage designer Donald Oenslager, with mechanisms for annual disassembly.
  • Close Up, East Room Crèche
    Otis Imboden
    holidays
    State Floor
    East Room
    Christmas
    creche
    This photograph, taken in December 1971, shows the 18th century crèche (or nativity scene) on display in the East Room during the Richard M. Nixon administration. The crèche was donated to the White House Collection by Mrs. Charles W. Engelhard, Jr. of Far Hills, New Jersey in 1967. The donation included 39 hand-painted figurines. The 14 foot tall crèche setting display was built by Tony Award-winning stage designer Donald Oenslager, with mechanisms for annual disassembly.
  • Crèche on Display in the East Room
    Otis Imboden
    holidays
    State Floor
    East Room
    Christmas
    creche
    This photograph, taken in December 1971, shows the 18th century crèche (or nativity scene) on display in the East Room during the Richard M. Nixon administration. The crèche was donated to the White House Collection by Mrs. Charles W. Engelhard, Jr. of Far Hills, New Jersey in 1967. The donation included 39 hand-painted figurines. The 14 foot tall crèche setting display was built by Tony Award-winning stage designer Donald Oenslager, with mechanisms for annual disassembly.
  • Crèche on Display in the East Room
    Otis Imboden
    holidays
    State Floor
    East Room
    Christmas
    creche
    This photograph, taken in December 1971, shows the 18th century crèche (or nativity scene) on display in the East Room during the Richard M. Nixon administration. The crèche was donated to the White House Collection by Mrs. Charles W. Engelhard, Jr. of Far Hills, New Jersey in 1967. The donation included 39 hand-painted figurines. The 14 foot tall crèche setting display was built by Tony Award-winning stage designer Donald Oenslager, with mechanisms for annual disassembly.
  • Crèche on Display in the East Room
    Otis Imboden
    holidays
    State Floor
    East Room
    Christmas
    creche
    This photograph, taken in December 1971, shows the 18th century crèche (or nativity scene) on display in the East Room during the Richard M. Nixon administration. The crèche was donated to the White House Collection by Mrs. Charles W. Engelhard, Jr. of Far Hills, New Jersey in 1967. The donation included 39 hand-painted figurines. The 14 foot tall crèche setting display was built by Tony Award-winning stage designer Donald Oenslager, with mechanisms for annual disassembly.
  • Crèche on Display in the East Room
    Otis Imboden
    holidays
    State Floor
    East Room
    Christmas
    creche
    This photograph, taken in December 1971, shows the 18th century crèche (or nativity scene) on display in the East Room during the Richard M. Nixon administration. The crèche was donated to the White House Collection by Mrs. Charles W. Engelhard, Jr. of Far Hills, New Jersey in 1967. The donation included 39 hand-painted figurines. The 14 foot tall crèche setting display was built by Tony Award-winning stage designer Donald Oenslager, with mechanisms for annual disassembly.
  • Mirrored Wall Sconce, Greeen Room
    Samuel McIntire
    State Floor
    Green Room
    mirror
    sconce
    This mahogany mirrored wall sconce was likely created by American craftsman Samuel McIntire around 1800. McIntire is attributed with creating this sconce, and it's twin, due to the skilled craftsmanship and design. The sconce is seen here on the west wall of the Green Room, in a photograph by Nelson Brown, Victor Boswell, and Robert S. Oakes in January 1972, during the administration of Richard M. Nixon.