An Artist Visits the White House Past

Paintings by Peter Waddell

The Secret Garden

Last Days of an Exotic World, 1902

When President Theodore Roosevelt moved into the White House he brought his large family and their many pets, including a macaw named Eli Yale and a cat, Tom Quartz. His son Kermit would one day explore the Amazon rainforests of Brazil, a much bigger jungle than those in the White House greenhouses, torn down in 1902 to build an office annex that evolved into the West Wing.


Jonathan Pliska, National Park Service Historian, on The Secret Garden

"An Artist Visits the White House Past" (if no audio, click here)

In Depth

Read William Seale’s catalog essay for The Secret Garden, and discover the historical resources used to create the painting.

All images © the White House Historical Association except where otherwise noted.