Reagan additions

Visitor Geoffrey M pointed me in the direction of some Reagan-era photos new to the Reagan Library site since I visited there last. I’ve added eight to all different pages. I’ve also enhanced the Oval Office Patio page with a couple of new pics and some from other pages. See What’s New.

11 thoughts on “Reagan additions

  1. Wingnut –

    Those are interesting chairs. From what I can tell – looking at my Mt. Vernon guidebook – they both are exact replicas of the chair George Washington used at his secretary/desk in his study at Mt. Vernon.

    If I remember correctly, Jefferson had a similar chair (I think by the same Philadelphia cabinetmaker)in his “cabinet” (study) at Monticello.

    I wonder if some future president will use a Saarinen “Womb Chair” – like the one LBJ used in his private office (the private office next to the Oval Office – there’s a pic of it on this site)?

    And hey – from the pic on the “What’s New” page of media folks in the Library – getting ready for Dubya’s address earlier this month – it looks like Laura has taken the Georgia O’Keefe from over the secretary in the Green Room and put it in the Library. Anybody know what she used to replace it in the Green Room? Just wondering…

  2. It seems that this website does a better job of keeping up with recent White House decorating changes than the actual White House website or WHHA site. The Lincoln bedroom is one example.

    I find the placement of the Georgia O’Keefe interesting. I have seen it hanging in the Green Room, where it fit in nicely. I don’t know if it goes that well in the Library. But, they didn’t ask my advice!

    It was Bush 41 who moved the President’s Study in the residence to the Treaty Room. One can understand that a little better when one sees the easy chairs placed in front of Reagan’s desk.

    There is the famous photo of the Reagan’s eating dinner on Tray Tables in those chairs. I would guess that there was a TV in front of them somewhere.

    Since the Living Room/President’s Bedroom is not that large, having the desk in there would really fill the room.

  3. And the lack of gilded frame makes it a standout and a break from what we’ve seen from most paintings.

  4. I was looking at the new additions to the oval office patio page and crolled down to look at some of the other pictures.

    Something just doest seem right about one of the photos, specificly the one that has the cpation “The south face, circa 1920 (note the clothes line on the east side)”

    Something about the shading and scale seems a bit funny.

    Is it possible that that isnt a picture of the real west wing, but a model of it?

  5. Just an odd angle and shading, I think. Click on the a link to the original photo–the red link that says “(Library of Congress)”. That’s a broader overall view (I cropped it for the site).

  6. Maybe it’s a 2D cardboard model mounted from the roof of the OEOB? Photographed in forced-perspective looking over the existing WW in order to show the picture to the president and decision makers.

  7. The “circa 1920” clothesline picture:

    I suggest that it is a real picture of the real buildings, not a model, taken from the roof of the OEOB. Taken not in 1920, but most likely in 1909. Part of the West Wing is in shadow from the OEOB and part of the W.W. is in brilliant sunlight. The key to the thing is the configurations of the “Rose Garden” at different points in time:

    If you look at Seale’s “The White House, History of an American Idea” – pages 206-207, you’ll see that Edith Roosevelt’s “Colonial Garden is still in place in the “Clothesline” picture.

    Then in 1913, Ellen Axon Wilson had all of Edith Roosevelt’s oval and diamond-shaped paths and planting beds removed and a new and very linear “Rose Garden” installed to replace it. This is what is shown in place in the “1929 Hoover-New-Years-Eve-Fire” picture, just above it. There are also some trees in the 1929 pic, at the S.W.corner of the West Wing, (near where the current oval office is) that aren’t there in the “Clothesline Picture”.

    So, since the “clothesline” picture already shows the 1909 Taft W.W. expansion – and SILL shows Edith’s Colonial garden (removed in 1913), that means that the “clothesline picture” can only possibly have been taken between 1909 and 1913.

    I have a strong hunch (having been on countless job sites) that the “clothesline Pic” was taken soon after the completion of Taft’s W.W. expansion – because that sure looks like job-site construction mud to me, between the driveway and the freshly painted walls of the enlarged West Wing. That consturction mud – no grass or vines or shrubs – right up against the building – is what gives it that weird “not quite right” feeling.

    And that’s probably Elizabeth Jaffrey multi-tasking, driving the road-grader in the driveway, heading out to do the marketing. : )

  8. Ooops. sorry. You have to click on the redish colored “Library of Congress” icon, next to the “Clothesline Picture” to see the roadgrader in the driveway.

    I apologize. I got a great deal on quotation marks and just wanted to use them up…

  9. Excellent analysis! That made me notice that the roof design and window count was different between photos, which made me realize that what I had labeled “Taft’s Expanded WW” is really TR’s original. I’ve made the changes that I think are necessary.

  10. Hmmmmmmm… I hadn’t thought to count the windows.

    I was looking at the “clothesline” pic again – the enlarged one when you click the Library of Congress link – and I realized that the dark fuzzy line on the ground and the difference in appearance of the mud right next to the West Wing and the more normal looking grass closer to the driveway is probably a ghost line of a very recently removed construction fence. That really is a cool pic!

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