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The White House Historical Association continued its mission of supporting the preservation of State and public rooms of the White House through its funding of the refurbishment of the State Dining Room and Family Dining Room — a multi-year process that was completed in 2015.

In the State Dining Room, the Association’s support included the repainting and glazing of the walls, new draperies, rugs, and chairs. The project was completed over three years with the painting and rug updates beginning in 2012. The selection of American designers and materials by First Lady Michelle Obama and the Committee for the Preservation of the White House is prevalent in the final design.

Notably, the new chairs commissioned for the room are based on the twenty-four armchairs that President James Monroe acquired for the East Room in 1818 from cabinetmaker William King, Jr. of Georgetown, D.C. Two of the three original chairs in the White House collection are in the ground floor Library.

The $590,000 update was funded entirely by the private nonprofit the White House Historical Association through its White House Endowment Trust. The State Dining Room was last refurbished in 1998 with the Association’s support.

“Providing resources for the continued preservation and enhancement of the State and public rooms is central to the White House Historical Association mission,” said Association President Stewart D. McLaurin. “We are committed to supporting the vision of our founder Mrs. Kennedy, for the White House to showcase the best of American history, design, craftsmanship, and creativity.”

The State Dining Room after the 2015 refurbishment.

The White House Historical Association

With the support of a special donation from the White House Historical Association, the Family Dining Room has also been refurbished to showcase modern art and design. The room’s new gray wall color, gilded metal and glass wall sconces, red draperies, and a wool rug adapted from a pictorial weaving — “Black, White, and Gray” by Anni Albers — creates a space that well complements four works of abstract art, recently acquired for the White House Collection and admired by the Obamas, which have been hung in the room: “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.” With its unveiling, the White House announced that the Family Dining Room would be opened to public tours for the first time.

The Family Dining Room after the 2015 refurbishment.

The White House Historical Association

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