Mrs. Trump is pleased to unveil the recently restored Bellangé suite, a collection of furniture made for the White House in 1817 by Pierre-Antoine Bellangé. In 2005, in response to the deteriorating condition of the historic Blue Room furniture, the White House curatorial staff began to study how to restore the suite to its original appearance. Plans were submitted to the Committee for the Preservation of the White House, which approved the restoration project. For over 10 years, a dedicated team of curators has been working with experts to complete the restoration.
“It is my honor to announce the completion of the first phase of this important and historic project,” said First Lady Melania Trump. “Thank you to the many experts, curators, and White House staff who helped repair the beautiful Bellangé suite. I look forward to placing the restored pieces back in the Blue Room so people on the public tour of the White House will be able to enjoy them.”
The White House worked to restore the beautiful set using the latest scientific and historical research. In consultation with experts on early 19th century French upholstery and gilding, new upholstery fabrics were selected based on receipts dating from 1817, which detailed the suite’s original patterns and trims. The gilding of the furniture was done based on evidence of its original appearance from microscopic samples taken from the original 1817 furniture.
The First Lady plans to reinstate the Bellangé suite in the Blue Room in the fall of 2018.
The Parisian-made Bellangé suite was purchased by President Monroe in 1817 for use in the most important formal parlor in the White House now known as the Blue Room.
In 1859, almost all of the Bellangé suite was sold at auction. It was not until 1961 under former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, that the White House began to reacquire pieces from the original suite. Replica arm and side chairs were made to supplement the original pieces. The suite, made up of both the original and reproduction pieces, has remained in the Blue Room since the Kennedy administration.