TR’s Blue Room chandelier

I got a request for information about a certain chandelier. The WH is not good about explaining where furnishings have gone, but if anyone happens to know, I’d be grateful.

I’m trying to find more information (any information, really) about the original French Renaissance chandelier than hung in the White House’s Blue Room circa 1902. It was removed during the Truman renovation, and I’ve no idea what became of it. More to the point, however, I’d simply like to know more about it (the maker, the dimensions, and so on.) It was a beautiful monstrosity, way out of proportion to the space–which, I think, became the reason given for its replacement.

There are only a few places in the mansion it could be, and it doesn’t seem to be in any of them. Big chandeliers being rather out of style, it’s likely been retired. It seems unlikely that has been moved to another government building. So, in all likelihood, it’s in any one of a dozen government warehouses, collecting dust.

11 thoughts on “TR’s Blue Room chandelier

  1. Having seen it only in photos, I don’t know where it was too large for the Blue Room or not. However, considering the simplicity of the room with its picture-less walls, uncovered floor, and chairs around the walls, it might have looked okay, being a focal point. It may have been retired because they didn’t need it anymore or because it was not useable.

  2. Could it have been slightly modified and is the one that the Kennedys used in the Yellow Drawing Room?

    Glad you’re asking about it and not its Truman replacement. In my opinion, that’s the chandelier that seemed all wrong for the room.

  3. The chandelier in the photos of the Kennedy/Johnson Yellow Oval Room certainly does look like a somewhat smaller version of the Roosevelt Blue Room chandelier. And it seems that Blue Room chandeliers have found a new home upstairs from time to time. The Kennedy Blue Room chandelier was installed in the Yellow Oval Room by Pat Nixon and remained there until the Kennedy one was put back; the Kennedy one is still there now, judging by the photos.

  4. The chandelier choices in the WH have always been a mystery to me. Who makes the decisions to move/remove re-purpose/re-locate these most important design features?? Surely it is not done to please the tastes and whims of the temporary occupants, are they?? For example, the Yellow Oval Room chandelier has been changed more times than you can think of – and the Green Room choice is way out of scale compared to the Kennedy/Nixon era’s. I thought the curator held court on such decisions. Could someone set the record straight?

  5. Oops; I was a bit inarticulate! What I meant to write in the last part of my post is: the Kennedy Blue Room chandelier was installed in the Yellow Oval Room by Pat Nixon and remained there until the Kennedy Yellow Oval Room chandelier was put back; that chandelier is still there…

  6. I understand that the decoration of the private quarters on the second and third floors, which include the Yellow Oval Room, is at the discretion of the president, who might turn such decisions over to the spouse. There might be certain restrictions, such as redecorating in a style compatible with the architecture. No red and black walls and selections from the IKEA catalog for the West Sitting Hall, for example. Maybe I’m wrong.

  7. in answer to the chandlier in the blue room,1902,1903,edward f.calwell&company of new york was commissioned by mc kim,meade and white to fabricate crystaland various metal fixtures for the state floor.for this work caldwell was paid $23,588.50

  8. edward f. caldwell & company of new york city was contacted by mc kim, meade and white all of the chandliers,sconces,standardsfor the state rooms and halls of the state floor of the white house for the sum of $23,588.50

  9. edward f caldwell & co. of new york city at the suggestion of mc kim, meade, and white to manufacture chandliers, sconces, and standards for the staterooms,blue,green,red,state dining cross hahh,entrance hall and eastroom as well as lan terns for the north portico

Comments are closed.