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Louis XV Style Desk 

The French writing table bureau plat was introduced in the early eighteenth century and was popular during the reign of Louis XV (1715–1774). The novel desk form is associated with the renowned cabinetmaker, Andre Charles Boulle (1642–1732), known for his use of marquetry and bronze. Cabinetmakers working in the Louis XV style also created furniture with an interplay of colors in wood, inlay, and bronze or gilded decoration, and added a lightness of overall form. The example in the Department of State collection is made in the style, ca. 1880, recreating the curvature of the legs and bronze ornament that were hallmarks of the period.

Properties

Chief of Mission Residence, Canberra, Australia

In 1939, the United States initiated the process of building diplomatic facilities in Canberra. Representatives moved quickly to get the project underway by seeking permission from the Australian government and reserving land in a prominent site. The U.S. Department of State architect Paul Franz Jaquet finished the drawings for the ambassador’s residence by November 1941, and the land was acquired through a 99-year lease agreement just as the United States entered World War II. A symbol of America, the cornerstone ceremony was held on July 4, 1942, and the building was completed in 1944. 

Virtual Tour

Chief of Mission Residence, Stockholm, Sweden 

Completed in 1932, Villa Åkerlund is a historical building of exceptional significance, achieving the highest level of heritage classification in Stockholm. It is located in the historic neighborhood of Diplomatstaden, which was designed by prominent city planner Per Olof Hallman as a residential enclave for diplomats. The neighborhood follows an organic layout with gently curving streets influenced by the natural topography of the land. Important architects contributed to the development of Diplomatstaden, and the Villa has the added distinction of being the last residence built in the area.

Exhibitions

Founders of Freedom Survival & Resistance in Wartime Netherlands 

In 2019, the Netherlands youngest survivor of the World War II will be 74 years old. By 2040, only a handful of centenarians will be left who have any first-hand memory of the war, and once gone that tangible link will vanish with them. There will be no-one left who lived through the German occupation, or who braved a hail of bullets to bring freedom to an occupied Holland. There will be no-one who survived a death camp to find themselves alone, without friends or family, and not even a photograph to remember that time in their lives. All that will remain are films, books, and other documents to inform us of that time and those who lived and died. 

Conservation

Putto on Fountain 

Chief of Mission Residence, Paris, France 

The putto is a motif seen throughout classical and modern periods of art history, depicted here as chubby boy joyfully chasing a swan through the reeds. The putto figure is made of lead and gilded, and the sculptural form is notable for its movement. The gilt applied to the putto figure was recently restored. Placed on a pedestal base, the putto crowns a Breche Violette marble wall fountain in the entry hall of the ambassador’s residence. The fountain is a gift of Ambassador and Mrs. Arthur K. Watson, who were the first occupants of the newly renovated Hotel Rothschild, as the house is known, in 1970–1972.