Gradually, through the last century and a half, the Department of State has accumulated a collection of portraits in oils of the former Secretaries of State. This collection is little known. It is located next to the Secretary of State Office and carries over into the Treaty Room Suite.
The Department’s collection of portraits includes a painting of each Secretary of State from Thomas Jefferson, who took office in 1790, to Colin L. Powell. In addition there are portraits of Robert Livingston, First Secretary of Foreign Affairs (1781-1783) under the Continental Congress and John Jay, Secretary of Foreign Affairs under the Continental Congress in 1784, acting Secretary of State until Thomas Jefferson was sworn in March 22, 1790.