White House adds Old Fam­ily Dining Room to tour

The Progress-Index - At Home - - NEWS - By Dar­lene Su­perville The Old Fam­ily Dining Room is seen af­ter its ren­o­va­tion at the White House in Wash­ing­ton on Tues­day. The nearly 200-year-old Old Fam­ily Dining Room has been added to the White House tour route for the first time in White House his­tor

WASH­ING­TON — Peo­ple tak­ing public tours of the White House now will have to leave a lit­tle more room in their sched­ules.

The White House an­nounced Tues­day that a new room, the nearly 200-year-old Old Fam­ily Dining Room, has been added to the route.

And in what’s be­come a tra­di­tion, Michelle Obama went down­stairs Tues­day to sur­prise some of the first mem­bers of the public to lay eyes on the room, which had never been open for public view­ing. It was re­cently ren­o­vated and will be a show­case for 20th cen­tury art and de­sign, the White House said.

“At least once a year I try to sur­prise a tour,” Mrs. Obama told one tourist dur­ing an ap­prox­i­mately half-hour ap­pear­ance shown on the White House web­site. She was ac­com­pa­nied by “To­day” show cor­re­spon­dent Jenna Bush, the daugh­ter of Pres­i­dent Ge­orge W. Bush, who was sched­uled to in­ter­view the first lady.

The Old Fam­ily Dining Room is a smaller dining room off the State Dining Room on the first floor. It was cre­ated by Pres­i­dent John Quincy Adams in 1825 as a place for the first fam­ily to eat meals, White House cu­ra­tor Wil­liam All­man wrote on the White House blog.

Af­ter the fam­ily’s dining room was moved up­stairs to the pri­vate res­i­dence, pres­i­dents used the Old Fam­ily Dining Room for small of­fi­cial meals, in­clud­ing work­ing lun­cheons with for­eign heads of state, All­man said. Obama also has used the room for an an­nual Passover seder.

Be­fore the ren­o­va­tion, the Old Fam­ily Dining Room had sunny yel­low walls and drap­ery and a light-toned rug edged in blue un­der­neath the dining ta­ble.

The room now fea­tures gray walls and red draperies, along with a wool rug in a pic­to­rial weav­ing of black, white and gray.

As part of the ren­o­va­tion, four works of Amer­i­can ab­stract art, a fa­vorite of the Obama fam­ily, have been do­nated to the per­ma­nent White House col­lec­tion to be dis­played in the dining room.

The works of art in­clude “Res­ur­rec­tion” by Alma Thomas, “Early Bloomer” by Robert Rauschen­berg and two by Josef Al­bers, “Study for Homage to the Square” and “Homage to the Square.”

A sil­ver tea ser­vice from the 1939 World’s Fair sits on a side­board.

The ren­o­va­tion was a joint ef­fort by Mrs. Obama and the Com­mit­tee for the Preser­va­tion of the White House. It was paid for by a do­na­tion from the White House His­tor­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.