Red Room and more

Added several photos to the Red Room page, as well as a couple of strays elsewhere, including a great one of the FDR West Sitting Room from Christopher S.

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10 thoughts on “Red Room and more

  1. Oh, would I love to see the FDR West Sitting Hall in color! It is so hard to get an impression of what it must have been like. The furniture was covered in identical chintz slipcovers. I would have enjoyed being there with Eleanor on Sunday nights for “Scrambled Eggs with Brains.”

  2. Great West Sitting Hall photo! I can relate to it! Pictures everywhere just like that. Except at my house the slip covers aren’t matched and – despite my best efforts – there are also stacks of books everywhere. We won’t go into the diet coke cans everywhere, or the cat hair. Or the videos waiting to go back… Or the stuff waiting to be mailed…

    Wasn’t Nell Arthur beautiful? What a shame we didn’t have her in the White House!

  3. That ceiling detail from the East Room circa 1883 – was that hand painted or applied decoration? It’s incredibly complex – seems like it would have taken ages to do by hand.

  4. Both Seale and Monkman say that the East Room ceiling was painted, but their descriptions of the colors are different. According to Seale, “…the ceiling of the East Room was painted in what was probably meant to resemble old and faded wallpaper put on in squares, the colors muddy tones of rust, gold, and brown…” (See Seale, The President’s House, pg 543.) On the other hand, Betty Monkman states that Tiffany “painted the ceiling in silver and various tones of ivory and covered the walls with gray painted paper highlighted in gold. (See Garrett, Our Changing White House, pg 128) Monkman’s description sounds more attractive to me, but that may just be my taste. I don’t know which is correct.

    I like that picture of the West Sitting Hall because it resembles the house I grew up in, with its mix and match furniture and everything made uniform by slipcovers and a liberal application of dog hair. Eleanor Roosevelt was a remarkable woman in so many ways, but “scrambled eggs with brains?” YUCK!
    Chris

    PS: Nell Arthur was gorgeous! What a strikingly beautiful woman!

  5. Was Eleanor talking about scrambled eggs with actual brains (in which case – truly, YUK!) or scrambled eggs with eggheads…? (aka “brains”)

    I’ll have to check out Seale and Garrett (Garrett, Our Changing White House is a wonderful book, by the Way). Sure wish we could see the “Old” East Room in color! Guess the closest we’ll come to seeing the actual colors of that era is that pattern of encaustic tiles on page 142 of Seale’s “W.H. – History of an American Idea”

  6. Both, John. Scholars now agree: Eleanor was a brain-eating zombie. FDR’s disability wasn’t the only secret in his administration.

  7. I KNEW IT! I KNEW IT! BRAIN SUCKING SOCIALISTS THE LOT OF THEM! (Of course I’m so left wing my friends tell me that I make Fidel Castro look like Ronald Reagan.)
    Chris

  8. Poor Eleanor! The “brains” referred to, of course, are the eggheads who were invited to her Sunday night scrambled egg suppers. She scrambled the eggs herself in a chafing dish in the West Hall. Good eggs and good conversation!

  9. I’m trying real hard to visualize Eleanor being that domestic – I know she did it because I’ve read about it – but still… “Would you have some toast? – Oh dear – then just scrape the burned part off, Louis… It won’t?… Oh Mr Crim! Would you please bring some more toast for Mr Howe…”

  10. I’m trying real hard to visualize Eleanor being that domestic – I know she did it because I’ve read about it – but still… “Would you have some toast? – Oh dear – then just scrape the burned part off, Louis… It won’t?… Oh Mr Crim! Would you please bring some more toast for Mr Howe…”

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