On October 30, IWP interns had an opportunity to tour the Diplomatic Rooms at the Department of State. The rooms were renovated in 1961 to reflect a look of dignity and stateliness. Before this time, they were bare rooms with government-issue furniture. Now the rooms showcase an extensive collection of historical furniture, art, and artifacts from the beginning of the United States. In addition, the rooms are used in official diplomatic functions.
The rooms include The John Quincy Adams State Drawing Room, the Thomas Jefferson State Reception Room, and the Benjamin Franklin State Dining Room. Each room was named after a different president who was also a leading diplomat, except for the Benjamin Franklin room, which was named for him because he helped create the diplomatic corps. In addition to these larger rooms are the Martha Washington Ladies’ Lounge, the Walter Thurston Gentlemen’s Lounge, and the Edward Vason Jones Memorial Hall. These rooms are showcases of American art, and as is stated by the State Department, “These rooms, and the $100 million collection contained within, are America’s gift to the nation.”