Joe asks:

Any reason the Monroe era sofa in the Blue Room has been replaced by the McKim, Mead, and White sofa? And if so what happened to the earlier sofa?

I don’t know of a reason, so we might put it down to taste. And sometimes furniture is switched so it can be repaired or reupholstered. I don’t think the Monroe sofa would be put anywhere else.

7 thoughts on “Sofas

  1. The McKim sofa was only temporary. The Bellange sofa was in place when I was in the White House in June. I imagine that during the Christmas season they take the opportunity to reupholster and repair.

  2. Dennis, I think you must be right – I’ve noticed that the McKim sofa and the Dolley Madison sofa in the Red Room seem to be there in those pictures during the Christmas Holidays –

  3. I talked to my friend Paul (who published the Edward Vason Jones book) and (considering that the book is no longer easily available) it *may* be possible to get some decent scans – formated to fit these pages – of the big double-page spread pictures of the Green, Blue and Red Rooms. He said I’d have to ask his partner in Savannah real nice. I’ll keep you posted…

  4. OK, thanks. Your response then generates another question, is the McKim sofa generally kept in storage or used someplace else?


  5. I believe it is kept in storage. I’ve never seen it any place else.

    Two of McKim’s armchairs are used in the Entrance Hall on the East Room Side by the front door.

    These seem to be covered in vinyl or some like material. White House guards will sit in these chairs when on duty and the house is closed.

  6. The Marcotte (McKim era) chairs were upholstered in red leather in 1962. I assume they’ve been renewed since then. The red silk used on the chairs and sofa in the Cross Hall wouldn’t last long on these chairs with such heavy use by the guards. But you’re right…it DOES look like vinyl!

  7. When I visited in October 2005, they that the original sofa was being re-upholstered, although they seem to switch the two versions regularly.

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