The Ike’s Lair discussion prompted John in NOLA to pass along two photos from the Kennedy archives that show Junior’s mantel and Jackie’s mantel (see What’s New) but don’t help solve the mystery. (But they’re nice, John; really they are.) Conspiracy theorists now suggest that Ike had a room in his library made to look a lot like the White House a family residence room but not exactly like one.
Actually the pic of Jackie's W.H. bedroom wasn't sent as part of the ongoing "Ike Photo Mystery Investigation" – It's just a nice big color version of the little b&w one in J. B. West's Book Upstairs at the White House.
As for the picture of John-John’s bedroom – it shows clearly the mantle/overmantle mirror (painted white) that had presumably been in that room since the Truman renovation. You can see the same room – and mantle/overmantle (before it was painted in 1961) on the “West Bedroom” page on this website.
Unless they removed this mantle(with it’s overmantle mirror) from the West Bedroom and then replaced it with the one Ike is sitting in front of – then later removed the “Ike” mantle – and THEN reinstalled the 1952 mantle(along with the overmantle mirror!) before the Kennedys moved back in, I think we can scratch off the West Bedroom as a possibility for the Ike pic.
As Derek said, each picture we get seems to pose as many questions as it answers! Like Yul Brenner said in “The King and I” – “Is a Puzzlement!”
Oh, and I think that Nun doll in the chair in John-John’s room must be a “Sister Parish” Action Figure… 🙂
I have been to the Eisenhower library and there is no attempt there to duplicate any room in the White House.
Here are the facts –
We have photos of every room except the fireplace wall of the East bedroom during the Eisenhower administration. There is no photo which has the right fireplace, or wainscotting, sconces or picture above.
We also know that the east bedroom had only a twin bed after the Truman renovation, and that the carpet was very plain.
We also know that the wall sconces in the Sitting (now Dining) room and in the West bedroom resemble those in the Ike photo.
We also know that the wainscotting in the east bedroom was straightened out sometime before the Reagan administration, where there had probably been a right angle bend on either side of the Fireplace.
So, I think that the photo was taken in the east bedroom, easily changed for a TV interview or whatever, if the photo was taken in the White House. But that will always remain the question, won’t it?
Agreed. I looked at the East Bedroom again, and I’m liking that better and better. The mantel in the Reagan-era pic looks like it could be the same, so we just have to imagine that the chimney breast was reduced when the alcoves were created. I’ll search the Truman Library for an East Bedroom fireplace shot. The game’s afoot!