Diplomatic Reception Rooms

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The GalleryThe Martha Washington Ladies Lounge
The Walter Thurston Gentlemen’s Lounge celebrates the history of our nation’s westward expansion, and the art and objects found here pay tribute to the Native American story.

A Setting for Diplomacy

The architect Walter M. Macomber designed this gentlemen’s lounge as a quiet, reflective space. The theme of the decorative and fine art in this room is centered on the American West, its role in the nation’s history, and the art and culture of Native Americans. The room is named for Walter Thurston, a U.S. diplomat to nations in Central and South America whose gift made the reconstruction of the room possible.

Historical Furnishings

The paintings in this room continue the Western theme. Barter for a Bride by John Mix Stanley, who traveled throughout the West, portrays a Blackfoot family group in what is believed to be a courtship ritual. Stanley’s painting brings a family connection of its own, as he was the grandfather of Alice Stanley Acheson, wife of Dean Acheson, secretary of state during the administration of Harry S Truman. Cyrus Dalin’s bronze sculpture, Appeal to the Great Spirit, portrays a Native American warrior, his eyes cast to heaven. In Our Elk Outfit at the Ford, Frederic Remington illustrates an episode in Theodore Roosevelt’s account of his life as a rancher and adventurer in Dakota Territory, some 15 years before he became president.

The Gentlemen’s Lounge before its transformation by architect Walter Macomber, and the room as it appears today.

Several objects from Native peoples are on display. An Acoma olla, or pot with a concave base, was used to bear water on the head. It is considered a classic example of Pueblo pottery and fine Acoma work. Its walls were tempered with pot shards from before the decade of the 1880s, a technique that gave the vessel strength. Nearby, from about the same era, is a rare Cheyenne saddlebag decorated with German silver conchos and bells.

On the floor is an 18th-century Persian rug, the most prized historic rug in the collection. The furniture is arranged for easy conversation, with chairs centered around a Chippendale tea table with an inset ceramic tray. A Federal secretary bookcase is interesting because its maker, Andre Joseph Villard, was one of many French artisans who sought refuge from the upheavals of the French Revolution. Immigrating to the United States, Villard introduced the prevailing Louis XVI fashions to his adopted country.

Virtual Tour

The Walter Thurston Gentlemen’s Lounge
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The Architect

Walter Macomber
Walter Mayo Macomber was one of the deans of restoration architecture and built a national reputation for his renovations of some of the nation’s most treasured historic properties.
The Work of Walter Macomber

Named in Honor of

Walter Thurston
An exceptional 20th century statesman, Walter Clarence Thurston is the only career foreign service officer to have a room in the Diplomatic Reception Rooms named in his honor.
Read the Biography
Walter Thurston, U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, 1950.

Objects in This Room

Appeal to the Great Spirit [Native American Bronze Equestrian Statue]

Appeal to the Great Spirit [Native American Bronze Equestrian Statue]

Dallin, Cyrus Edwin
ca. 1916-1920
metal; bronze
Barter for a Bride [Family Group]

Barter for a Bride [Family Group]

Stanley, John Mix
ca. 1854-1860
oil on canvas
American Silver Indian Trade Peace Medal

American Silver Indian Trade Peace Medal

Richardson, Jr., Joseph
1793
metal; silver
A Flutist

A Flutist

American School
ca. 1785-1810
oil on canvas
The Sergeant [Bust of Rough Rider Sergeant]

The Sergeant [Bust of Rough Rider Sergeant]

Remington, Frederic
ca. 1904
metal; bronze; lost wax-cast bronze
Chippendale Mahogany Block-Front Chest of Drawers

Chippendale Mahogany Block-Front Chest of Drawers

Chipman, John
ca. 1775-1790
wood; mahogany; eastern white pine
Pair of Chippendale Carved Mahogany Side Chairs

Pair of Chippendale Carved Mahogany Side Chairs

Bernard, Nicholas
ca. 1760-1780
wood; mahogany; eastern white pine; yellow-poplar
Valley of Lake Pepin, Minnesota

Valley of Lake Pepin, Minnesota

Duncanson, Robert S.
1864
oil on canvas
American Silver Tankard, The Diplomatic Reception Rooms, U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C.

American Silver Tankard

Billings, Andrew
ca. 1785
metal; silver
Crossing the Continent - The First Train

Crossing the Continent - The First Train

Farny, Henry F.
1883
paper; gouache on paperboard
Twilight, Lake Tahoe

Twilight, Lake Tahoe

Bierstadt, Albert
ca. 1873
oil on millboard
Our Elk Outfit at the Ford

Our Elk Outfit at the Ford

Remington, Frederic
1887-1888
oil en grisaille on fiberboard
Chippendale Faience and Mahogany China Table

Chippendale Faience and Mahogany China Table

Unknown
ca. 1780-1795
wood; mahogany; eastern white pine; ceramic; tin-glazed earthenware; faience
Chippendale Carved Mahogany Bureau Table

Chippendale Carved Mahogany Bureau Table

Unknown
ca. 1770-1790
wood; mahogany; southern yellow pine; yellow-poplar; Atlantic white cedar; eastern white pine
John Quincy Adams' Mahogany Writing Box

John Quincy Adams' Mahogany Writing Box

Unknown
ca. 1796
wood; mahogany; beech
Federal Figured and Inlaid Cylinder Secretary Bookcase

Federal Figured and Inlaid Cylinder Secretary Bookcase

Villard, André Joseph
ca. 1800
wood; mahogany; satinwood; cedar; maple; pine; poplar; walnut
Cheyenne Beaded Hide Saddlebags with Brass Conchos and Bells

Cheyenne Beaded Hide Saddlebags with Brass Conchos and Bells

Unknown
ca. 1880
hide; rawhide; beads; buffalo sinew; brass
Apsáalooke Glass Beadwork Tipi or Possible Bag on Buffalo Hide

Apsáalooke [Crow] Beaded Hide Tipi Bag

Unknown
ca. 1880
hide; rawhide; glass beads
Cheyenne Beaded Hide Cradleboard

Cheyenne Beaded Hide Cradleboard

Unknown
ca. 1880
wood; rawhide; canvas; wool cloth; hide; glass bead/beads; hide thong/babiche; cotton thread; sinew
Apsáalooke [Crow] Beaded Hide Woman's Saddle

Apsáalooke [Crow] Beaded Hide Woman's Saddle

Unknown
ca. 1880
wood; rawhide; canvas; wool cloth; hide; glass bead/beads; hide thong/babiche; cotton thread; sinew
Zia Hand-Painted Polychrome Earthenware Olla

Zia Hand-Painted Polychrome Earthenware Olla

Unknown
ca. 1890
ceramic; earthenware; clay
Kiowa Apache Strike-a-Lite Pouch

Kiowa Apache Strike-a-Lite Pouch

Unknown
ca. 1880
hide; saddle leather; Venetian beads
Mount McKinley North 63 Latitude - Altitude 20.390 Feet by Sydney Laurence

Mount McKinley North 63 Latitude - Altitude 20.390 Feet

Laurence, Sydney
ca. 1911-1912
oil on canvas
No-Way-Ke-Sug-Ga, Otoe

No-Way-Ke-Sug-Ga, Otoe

McKenney, Thomas
1842
paper