Green Room and more

Added some pictures of the Green Room room and one stray pic of the old main staircase with the Clevelands leaving for their honeymoon, at least as it was imagined by a Harper’s Weekly illustrator. Not as much change in the Green Room as in others. The the chandelier globes and ceiling decor are about the only clues in 1880s and 90s. It’s possible that I just haven’t found a real 1893-1902 photo yet.

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8 thoughts on “Green Room and more

  1. Hi Derek. I think your dates for those photos of the Green Room are a few years too late. The Green Room was extensively redecorated in 1891-92 by Caroline Harrison, with a completely different wall treatment from that shown here. One of the photos I am scanning shows her redecoration. I will try to get it to you by the end of the day.
    Chris

    PS: Happy Birthday!

  2. Hi Derek. I think your dates for those photos of the Green Room are a few years too late. The Green Room was extensively redecorated in 1891-92 by Caroline Harrison, with a completely different wall treatment from that shown here. One of the photos I am scanning shows her redecoration. I will try to get it to you by the end of the day.
    Chris

    PS: Happy Birthday!

  3. Derek – I think it’s *wonderful* that you’re still posting at your age! It’s inspiring!

    About these Green Room photos – it always amazes me how different their 19th century world must have been. It’s so hard for me to really understand how people of that day would have seen these rooms. There was no conception of decorating a room to look “historic”. They had some old things around, of course – like the Monroe pieces, etc. – but I have to wonder how they viewed them. But the same could really be said of any period prior to the Colonial revival. I mean when Latrobe decorated the Elliptical Saloon for Dolley Madison, it was all very avant guard and ultra modern – an yet it was also an intentional attempt to evoke ancient Greece.

    These late 19th c. rooms really stump me though. I guess they came out of the aesthetic movement and probably 90% of their effect came from color – which obviously we can’t see.

  4. I wrote too quickly Derek. The Green Room picture dated 1884 is probably fine. The picture dated 1892 could be as late as 1890, but no later.
    Chris

  5. Thanks, John. I take it one day at a time: keeping up on my meds, walking in the mall, watching plenty of Matlock, and shouting at kids to stay off my lawn.

    On a semi-related note, I’ve read that nostalgia as we know it didn’t really exist before the 20th century. People had a vague notion of “the romantic” but that mainly referred to an idealization of ancient Rome. The White House is a good example. In The President’s House Seale clearly describes how people only slowly came to decide that they should preserve the White House more as it was originally intended rather than constantly updating it or even tearing it down. I don’t think it’s coincidence that those ideas arose around the same time as the invention of film photography and audio recordings; when it became possible to preserve the past artificially, it suddenly made sense to preserve the past literally.

  6. What’s interesting for me is to compare the development of the 19th Century White House to many of the homes visited on the cable TV show, “America’s Castles.” Most of those masterpieces did have a coordination between the exterior and interior of the house, something which the White House completely lost.

  7. You may want to try the companion book that was published in 1962 to Jacqueline Kennedy’s Tour of the White House. I seem to remember that there were some 1890’s photos in there.

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