After entering through the East Wing, we made our way into the ground floor of the residence. The first stop in the White House Residence was the Vermeil Room. When we were on the holiday White House Tour, everything was roped off so you could only view from the door. At the White House Christmas Party, we got to go into the room and sit on the furniture.
"This room is about 27 1/2 feet by 22 1/2 feet. The green silk draperies are of early 19th-century design. The carpet is a Turkish Hereke of about 1860, chosen for its pale green background and gold silk highlights. In the center of the room stands a circular mahogany table made in the Empire revival style later in the 19th century. Its tilt top is veneered in 12 wedge-shaped sections, each inlaid with a brass star. Hanging above it is a cut-glass chandelier with ten arms, which was made in England about 1785.
Against the south wall is a New York sofa circa 1815 attributed to the workshop of Duncan Phyfe. It has scrolled ends and a reeded frame. On either side stand Boston work tables made in the early 1800's and thought to be the work of either John or Thomas Seymour. Although not a pair, each has two drawers and a sewing-bag slide.
Placed along the north wall is a classical mahogany pier table with a marble top and gilded bronze caryatid heads and feet on reeded supports. It was made about 1805 in New York and is one of two tables in the room that bear the label of New York cabinetmaker Charles-Honore Lannuier.
Portraits of several other first ladies are exhibited in the Vermeil Room. Douglas Chandor caught the vivaciousness and changing moods in his multiple-image portrait of Eleanor Roosevelt, painted in his studio in New York City in 1949. Inscribed by her in the upper right corner: "A trial made pleasant by the painter. Eleanor Roosevelt." Claudia (Lady Bird) Johnson by Elizabeth Shoumatoff. Mrs. Johnson chose the Jefferson Memorial, one of her favorite views, as the background for the picture, which was painted in the White House. Aaron Shikler also painted Nancy Reagan's portrait, which graces the east wall of the room. Patricia Ryan Nixon by Henriette Wyeth hangs on the north wall, as does Lou Henry Hoover's portrait, by Richard Brown." White House Museum Website.
Photos by Lauren DeSantis. Copyright 2013.