I have read that blue is the color favored by most folks, men in particular. After having been critical of President Obama’s timid attempts at redecoration , I thought it fair to show examples of color.
Beginning with the beautiful Blue Room seemed appropriate.
An early depiction, ca. President Pierce , in office 1853-1857
Old Abe didn’t do much with the place, perhaps the fancy bed Mary bought had created enough outrage.
Lincoln reception in the Blue Room.
March 1861- April 15th 1865
Recquiscat in Pace President Lincoln
As I am now engaged in study concerning Reconstruction, President Andrew Johnson is of interest to me.
Apparently a stubborn , willful man, and a racist to boot. His decorating, left to the hand of his daughter,seems a bit rigid for my taste.
Blue Room during the Johnson administration, 1865-1869
President Andrew Johnson
Note: Andrew Johnson was the first U.S. President to be impeached.
Good old Ulysses does a bit of redecorating. He was responsible for the new carpet, the sconces , and the impressive gasolier.
Blue Room, ca. 1874
Ulysses S. Grant administration 1869-1877
My favorite Dandy President, “Elegant Arthur”, made the greatest impact. In a future post I will explore his tastes more thoroughly, but for now I will focus on the Blue Room. “Chet”, a man of fashion and style wisely chose the forward thinking Louis Comfort Tiffany to redecorate his new digs.
Blue Room refurbished by Tiffany for President Arthur, administration 1881-1885
Note the Aesthetic paper, the wild Starburst sconces.
Official White House portrait
President Chester (Chet) Arthur
We mustn’t forget to thank the always fabulous Louis Comfort.
Louis Comfort Tiffany
Note: for years I dated a madly wonderful fellow, direct descendent of L.C. Tiffany; the physical resemblance striking.
The collaboration truly dazzled as this coloured reconstruction demonstrates.
via Nest magazine
Recquiscat in Pace Nest magazine.
The following, another coloured depiction , ca. 1887, shows that President Cleveland made few if any changes.
Blue Room during President Grover Cleveland’s administration, 1885-1889
President Benjamin Harrison seems to have made a few patriotic changes. Do I detect a Federal crest on the ceiling?
Out with that pansy Aesthetic stuff.
What will they think, that we’re England!!
Blue Room , ca. Harrison administration 1889-1893
Another coloured view , ca. 1898, William Mc Kinley’s administration.
Blue Room, Mc Kinley administration 1897-1901
I love Teddy Roosevelt, our only self admitted Imperialist President. I love how he brashly swept away the fusty Victoriana, bringing in his own bold ,taxidermic splendour.
The following is what he inherited.
And the following to suit his own distinct taste. Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my…
Blue Room Splendor
Theodore Roosevelt Administration 1901-1909
I love the Imperial lambrequin.
The room seems to undergo few interesting changes ,
at least according to my own humble opinion.
Truman tarts it up a bit in ’52.
Administration of Harry S. Truman
Re-using Teddy’s window treatment.
It isn’t until Her Majesty Jackie ascends the throne that the magic returns.
We haven’t seen such beauty since the Tiffany/Arthur collaboration.
Drawing inspiration from the James Madison administration ( 1709-1717), a stunning room is revealed.
Thank you Mrs. Kennedy
I find it of interest that President Nixon felt it necessary to redecorate such a perfect room.
I do admire the chutzpah of the Napoleonic candelabra, a room should reflect it’s occupant.
ca. administration of President Richard Nixon
(As in the Nixon Oval Office, I admire the grandeur and color of the window dressings.)
Apparently the room needed further freshening up.
Here we have Hillary acting as Decorator-in Charge.
I don’t know why I find this so amusing. She doesn’t look terribly comfortable in the role.
In closing , a detail of a Blue Room bergère, upholstered in Scalamandre silk.
Blue Room bergére
L’Shanah Tovah my friends!