White House Tour - Center Hall
Ken Carlson, the maker of this porcupine basket, weaves containers using strips of copper
instead of the more traditional materials of wood or fiber. The copper, with age, turns to a rich
green color. Its rough and prickly texture contrasts dramatically with smooth and elegant
furnishings in the center hall.
Recent First families have used this hall to display paintings by American artists. The bold abstract painting by Willem de Kooning, on loan to the White House from the artist, is a perfect foil for this humorous table clock by Wendell Castle. The sweeping and gestural brush strokes in the painting are repeated in the twisting and curving forms of the clock's hands and feet.
This large blown glass bowl by artist Dale Chihuly was placed on an 18th century octagonal writing desk in the center hall. This space serves as a spacious drawing room for the First family and Presidential guests. The brilliant blue of the bowl, with its undulating surface, provides a dramatic contrast to the yellow and white color scheme of this elegant space.