An Artist Visits the White House Past

Paintings by Peter Waddell

The Grand Illumination

Sunset of the Gaslight Age, 1891

One of the most beautiful features to ever adorn the White House was a stained glass screen designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany, installed in the Entrance Hall in 1882. The vibrant screen had the greatest effect in natural light, but the times demanded electric light, which was installed during the Benjamin Harrison administration. The screen was removed in the 1902 renovation and later destroyed in a fire.

Listen:

Betty Monkman, former White House Curator, on The Grand Illumination

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

In Depth

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

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