Lee Dining Room

One of the most frequently used rooms in the Blair House complex, the Lee Dining Room is well-sized for luncheon meetings and formal dinners. Its décor includes Blair family 18th century Chinese export porcelain and English Georgian pine paneling, donated by Congressman Peter H.B. Frelinghuysen, Jr. and his brother and sister from a historic house in western New Jersey. During his residency at Blair House, President Truman used the Lee Dining Room for Cabinet meetings.

View the room in more detail

Photo courtesy of Traditional Home Magazine; Barry Dixon, Interior Design; Gordon Beall, Photographer.

Lee Dining Room
  • Chinese Export Porcelain, 1800

    Chinese Export Porcelain, 1800

    The Lee Dining Room showcases a selection from four different dinner services of 18th century Chinese under-glazed blue and white porcelain with grapevine pattern and gilt monograms and accents. Many of the pieces displayed here were collected by the Blair family and are original to the house.

  • Dining Chairs, 1940-1945

    Dining Chairs, 1940–1945

    These modern dining chairs coordinate with the older Chippendale-style, 16-seat mahogany dining table. The wives of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Cabinet secretaries created the chairs’ needlepoint upholstery. Each chair bears a brass plaque with the name of its contributor, including Lady Bird Johnson who initiated the project. The Chinese export porcelain in the room inspired the upholstery’s blue grapevine wreath design.

  • English Chest of Drawers c.1690

    English Chest of Drawers c.1690

    A William and Mary period walnut chest of drawers displays unusual “oyster shell” figured veneer accented with olivewood inlay. According to Gist Blair’s 1920 diary from a trip to England, Scotland, and France, “Laura and I went to the old part of town [Edinburgh] and bought a chest of drawers [with] root of walnut oyster pattern ...49.10 pounds sterling.”

  • Mahogany Sideboard, 1800–1810

    American Federal Sideboard, 1800–1810

    This beautiful mahogany sideboard, made in New York between 1790 and 1820 with a classic D-shaped top, conforming case, serpentine cupboard doors, and diamond pattern inlay, was donated to Blair House by Mrs. Richard S. Reynolds, Jr., through the Blair House Restoration Fund in 1988.

  • Venetian Mirror, 19th century

    Venetian Mirror, 19th century

    This antique Renaissance Revival Venetian mirror is decorated with inlaid and applied pieces of silvered mirror, cobalt blue, and clear glass, many decorated with cut and etched designs of flowers, diamonds, and human heads in silhouette. Gilt accents, now faded, once enhanced its overall reflective qualities. It was acquired in 1965 by the Blair House Fine Arts Committee (dissolved in late 1970s).

  • Irish Crystal Chandelier c.1825

    Irish Crystal Chandelier c.1825

    This Irish-made Regency style chandelier was originally candlelit. The brass ornamented crown ring with prisms and cascading jeweled chains connect to a larger lower ring holding eight arms with electrified candles above cut glass bobéches embellished with double-jeweled prisms. A circlet of large double-jeweled prisms with etched diamond pattern decorates the lower rim—the whole punctuated at the base end with a large gilt metal acorn pendant.

  • Indo-Tabriz Carpet

    Indo-Tabriz Carpet

    After 40+ years of service, the antique Tabriz rug used here since the Johnson administration had finally reached well-earned retirement. Commissioned especially for this important room by the Blair House Restoration Fund from Pasargad Carpets, Washington, D.C., this new rug produced in India faithfully replicates the original in traditional design and colors to complement the room’s recently refreshed décor.