I got a very nice reply from Renée Gravois at the Johnson Library about LBJ’s Oval Office furnishings.
An antique desk was found in the Senate Office building for LBJ’s use in his ranch office. This was a pedestal desk of late Sheraton or early Regency design, made of Honduran mahogany. Johnson liked this desk so much that he asked Joe Duke, Sergeant of Arms at the Senate for another desk for his Majority Leader office. The Senate cabinet shop made a desk just like the antique one, and inset green tooled leather on top surface. Maybe it was a little too much like the original—blocks had to be added under the ball fee to raise it up for LBJ. He then used it in his VP office and later in the Oval Office.
After it was installed in the Oval Office, Frank Stanton and others removed the blocks under the feet and added an extra row of molding above them to make up for the difference. A cane modesty panel was added at the same time.
Gravois also included some information about the reproductions of other furniture in the Library’s Oval Office. However, there’s no answer (yet, at least) about exactly when LBJ swapped the Boudin run for Truman’s.
I can’t help but notice that LBJ is the only president in recent memory that didn’t have a portrait of George Washington over the mantel. He had a portrait of his political mentor, FDR. Also, I have always found it interesting that he didn’t hang that portrait, it was just nicely propped up on the mantel.
I misspoke in my previous post. I should have said that LBJ was the last president to NOT use George Washington as the portrait over the OO mantel. I know that JFK, Eisenhower, Truman, FDR, etc. all had naval or landscape types of paintings over the mantel. I beleive that the G. Washington trend started with the 1969 redecoration by President Nixon and the trend continues to present day.
Truman actually did use a Washington portait over his mantel.
I stand corrected! Thanks!