Monday, February 15, 2010

The President’s Desk

The President’s desk, also known as the Resolute desk, was built from timbers of a British exploration ship named HMS Resolute. The desk was a gift from Queen Victoria to President Rutherford Hayes in 1879. According to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston:

“The ship was purchased, fitted out and sent to England as a gift to HER MAJESTY QUEEN VICTORIA by the PRESIDENT AND PEOPLE of the UNITED STATES as a token of goodwill & friendship. This table was made from her timbers when she was broken up, and is presented by the QUEEN OF GREAT BRITAIN & IRELAND to the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES as a memorial of the courtesy and loving kindness which dictated the offer of the gift of the RESOLUTE.”

Many American Presidents have used this desk in the White House’ Oval Office, including Presidents Kennedy, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, and President Obama.

The famous photo of President Kennedy and his son John Jr. at the Oval Office

All fabrics by Scalamandré

President's Clinton mementos on a table behind the Resolute desk

Photo 1 courtesy of LIFE, Remembering Jackie
Photo 2, 3 courtesy of House Beautiful March 1994, photography Oberto Gili

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