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White House Decorative Arts in the 2000s

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To celebrate the 200th anniversary of the White House, the White House Historical Association donated a set of special gifts to America's home: a pair of elegant 19th century French porcelain vases, a rare 19th century mahogany desk and bookcase, and a new state dinner and dessert service for 300. The cylinder secretary and bookcase is a sophisticated example of American Empire furniture built by an unknown master cabinetmaker in New York about 1830. The gilded porcelain vases, circa 1820, feature hand-painted images of George Washington and John Adams on one side. The reverse sides include gilded eagles derived from the Great Seal of the United States, along with the words "E PLURIBUS UNUM," all executed in burnished and matte gold.

The new state dinner and dessert service for 300 was used for the first time at a special dinner commemorating the 200th anniversary of the White House. The service incorporated designs inspired by architectural motifs in the State Dining Room, East Room, and Diplomatic Reception Room.

First Lady Laura Bush was very active refurbishing many rooms in the White House, such as the Library, the Lincoln Bedroom, the Family Theater, and the Green Room. In January 2009, shortly before President Bush completed his second term, Mrs. Bush introduced two new sets of White House china. The larger, gilt-edged service, consisting of 320 place settings, has a green basket-weave motif, intended to coordinate with any floral arrangement. The smaller service of 74 place settings, hand-decorated with magnolias and butterflies, is to be used in the private family quarters.

Vases with portraits of President John Adams and George Washington

White House Historical Association