Monday, November 3, 2008
Candlesticks in the Red Room of the White House
Last post I placed the candlesticks in the Red Room in the White House. In continuance of this, I placed the Red Room in the White House. Hypothetically speaking, Henry Francis Du Pont of the Winterthur Museum, who helped Jackie Kennedy during her extensive historical renovation, is placing the candlesticks in the Red Room. The following excerpt is a hypothetical example from Du Pont's notes on the remodel.
Jackie Kennedy hired me to help her refurbish the White House interior. In keeping with the older Classical architecture on the exterior, the rooms all have antique artifacts. These artifacts are harder to find than one might suspect. Because they are going into such an important building for the American people, everything must be in a well kept condition and also be historically relevant. I have enjoyed the research that this project has required. I spent a long time looking for artifacts today. Currently we are on the Red Room redecoration phase of the remodel for the White House. It has been a long process and many hours have been put into choosing just the right time period for each room.In addition to the Red Room, there is also a Blue Room and a Green Room. American Empire is the style for the Red Room, Empire Style for the Green Room and French Empire for the Blue Room. For the Red Room, I found a French mantle clock and an empire fire screen yesterday. Today I found a pair of candlesticks that were originally in the Nichols House Family Museum. I had to a little bit of trouble contacting the man in charge of the Nichol's archive of objects, but after a few more tries, everything went smoothly. After searching through the numerous artifacts that the House Museum has, I saw the candlesticks. They make a perfect addition. This room will blend in perfectly with the rest of the restoration and I am very proud of my work.
The White House and it's decor is similar to the West Wing from the National Gallery of Art. Both are built in a Classical style. (Both also house works of art, although one is entirely devoted to this and one is not). However the exterior of the East Wing is very different from the White House. The National Gallery of Art has a very modern exterior with sharp angles and is very sculptural in it's design. The purposes for the buildings are, of course, very different as well. The White House is for living and working and is only meant for select people, while the National Gallery is meant for many people to trample through and does not need to be as closed off as the White House but is free to be more open. The architecture of the National Gallery is able to be so sculptural because it is an art space whereas the White House's architecture has to be much more formal because of its formal purpose.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is similar to the White House in that they both have columns that hearken to a classical past. Similarly both have fairly complex architraves that add to the formality of the buildings. Also, the front facade of both buildings clearly delineate the entrance of the buildings. Both buildings also have a certain amount of clout in association with their uses.