The 19th century White House in oil

Peter Waddell is an artist commissioned by the WH Historical Association to recreate rooms from the 19th century. Wow!

Thanks to Steven B for the link!

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13 thoughts on “The 19th century White House in oil

  1. It’s alway s interesting to see (like in the Lincoln office painging) the fact that they ran out of money making the Washington Monument. To this day you can still see the difference in color of the stones where they stopped and then resumed much later.

  2. WOW, INDEED! What a feeling of the time the paintings bring. I can’t wait to see the rest!

  3. Peter Waddell had done a terrific job with his WH renderings. I especially like the Red Room.
    Congratulations to the White House Historical Assoc. for enlisting Mr. Waddell and to Derek Jensen for posting the link.

    I also enjoyed seeing the 1963 Blue Room picture. There is something much more elegant about the Boudin Blue Room than the version we see today. I believe that Mrs. Kennedy wanted a Blue Room with a sense of ceremony and grandeur. She felt that Stephan Boudin did indeed design a room that met those goals.
    It’s also more nice to see the silk wall coverings- I like the striped material appoved by Mrs. Kennedy. The current wallpaper chosen by Mrs. Clinton seems more suited for a less important setting- maybe the ladies’ lounge at Bergdorfs!!!
    The only really awkward element to the Boudin Blue Room is the infamous “fat spanish dancer” center table. Perhaps this was added to please President Kennedy who initially felt the new Blue Room was not blue enough.
    Today (May 29) would have been JFK’s 90 birthday- and JBK would be 78 this year. How time has flown indeed!

  4. I would like the Kennedy Blue Room better if the advice of JKF had been heeded, “Get a great big blue rug on the floor.” JBK took a big step in taking the blue down to almost nothing, from the previous all blue, Blue Room.

  5. Peter Waddell’s pictures are indeed wonderful!

    Maybe – because all we have to form our concept of the early White House are often murky black & white photos and/or engravings – we tend to think that there was no "color" then. Those years just seem so removed from our own experience of color photos everywhere we turn.

    I’m really facinated by Peter’s work – especially since I read a wonderful book entitled “Time and Again”, by Jack Finney, about a man who travels back to New York in the 1880’s. Finney was so gifted at descriptions of the events and environment and people and objects of that era that it really came alive for me and I have never been able to see a 19th. century photograph in quite the same way since then. What you saw of 1880’s New York in your mind’s eye was very much like what Peter Waddell has done here with paint and canvas! Rooms very much alive and inhabited by living breathing people.

    I highly recommend this book to you if you love history and are intrigued by the possibility of time travel.

  6. Peter Waddell’s pictures are indeed wonderful!

    Maybe – because all we have to form our concept of the early White House are often murky black & white photos and/or engravings – we tend to think that there was no "color" then. Those years just seem so removed from our own experience of color photos everywhere we turn.

    I’m really facinated by Peter’s work – especially since I read a wonderful book entitled “Time and Again”, by Jack Finney, about a man who travels back to New York in the 1880’s. Finney was so gifted at descriptions of the events and environment and people and objects of that era that it really came alive for me and I have never been able to see a 19th. century photograph in quite the same way since then. What you saw of 1880’s New York in your mind’s eye was very much like what Peter Waddell has done here with paint and canvas! Rooms very much alive and inhabited by living breathing people.

    I highly recommend this book to you if you love history and are intrigued by the possibility of time travel.

  7. I would point out that Peter’s painting of Lincoln’s Office does show the door to what is now the President’s Study in the Residence, formerly the Treaty Room, blocked by a heavy desk. So, just when would that “secret passage” created for Lincoln have been used?

  8. I was just pondering that question myself today when I was rethinking the backwards depiction of Lincoln’s office in The Birth of a Nation and comparing it to Waddell’s depiction. I suspect Lincoln had the private passage created between mid-1863 and his death in 1865, after he got fed up with the endless stream of visitors.

  9. That would seem to be the answer, especially since Seale is so postive that the passageway existed.

  10. Guess I’m a doofus, but I can find no links on this site to the oil renderings. Nothing like tons of clutter, of course, to mask anything and everything. Why are all webpages so designed?
    Help!

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