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tv   Paintings of 19th Century Washington D.C.  CSPAN  December 22, 2016 8:00pm-8:51pm EST

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next on c-span3, american history tv features programs about art and american history. first, paintings of 19th century washington, d.c. then our cities tour of pittsburgh visits the andy warhol museum. after that, artists of the american revolution. later, our cities tour of helena, montana, examines the life and work of charles russell. next, artist poort waddell shares his paintings of 19th century washington, d.c. white house events, the u.s. capitol and george washington's
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home at mt. vernon. this 45-minute event was hosted by the u.s. capitol historical society. >> welcome, everyone, to another scorcher in washington, d.c. my name is chuck. i'm the chief historian here at the u.s. capitol historical society. this is, i believe, our third in our august lunchtime lecture series. we have the pleasure of having an artist with pretenses to being an historian with us today. peter waddell. the society's favorite kiwi. he's from new zealand, but has been artist and resident at tudor place over in georgetown. if you are not familiar with it, i recommend you go over there. it's the ancestral home for the peters family which is descendant from martha washington. they'll interest you as well as being designed by william thornton, i believe, who also designed our capitol, of course.
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oh, that sounds so lovely. reminds me of being outside. pierre has done work for the white house historical association, vernon and other historic sites in the area. i want to -- those of you who come to this on a routine basis have heard this before. it's the last time i'm going to apologize for the quality of productions. we have a new projector coming in. it arrives tomorrow. but i was speculating about why these seem to be better than some other power points we've shown in the past. i think because of the quality of the work is so high. so i'm glad about that. if you want to see what peter's stuff really looks like, we have some postcards. please feel free to take some. this is an example of the kind of work he's going to be talking to us about today. you can also go to and we're going to let him go on for about 30, 45 minutes and
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then have questions and answers. welcome, peter. >> thank you very much. [ applause ] >> thank you all for coming. it's always a bit alarmi ining lecturing historians about history being an artist, but i will do my best. this is really going to be a journey through washington in the 19th century. almost all the paintings are about washington. in this case, it's the capitol. the speaker's office in summer dress at the beginning of the civil war when thousands of young men came into washington and 400 at the capitol. it was an extraordinary room full of pattern and color. and here we have rather difficult to see, i'm afraid, here we have two young soldiers who have perhaps never left home before have wandered in and are amazed by what they see. now as an artist, i'm always
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interested in a first-person voice when i'm doing history painting. in this case, there's a really good one from thomas u. walter, the capitol. and i'll read it. 400 troops in the capitol and the smell is awful. the senate chamber it is alive with lice. my head itches thinking about it. the bed bugs have traveled upstairs. the drummers drill under my window. 100 drummers all the time drumming. now my first paintings in washington were history paintings really because i was so taken with the place. and i was a newzealander, of course. i was overwhelmed with the site and creation of the city. here we've got the octagon being built. and i was always interested in stories and telling stories. i'm so sorry that you can't see this one better.
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when dolly madison fled the white house, or was preparing to flee the whourite house, john taylor cleverly figured that the british wouldn't burn it if it was an embassy. so he installed the french ambassador. and in the minutes before she left, dolly madison, feeling unable to take her pet macaw with her sent it to the octagon. and the french ambassador being awoken from a nap by the escaped macaw. it's flying up near the top of the painting. evening the burning of the white house seemed a romantic thing. i've kind of got over that. my later work, more recent work has become more and more involved in really very accurate and meticulousry re-created moments in history and particularly historic spaces.
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this is the tiffany screen that used to stretch across the entrance hall of the white house. put in by chester arthur as part of his redecoration. and this is the day that irwin hoover, who was the electrician of the white house, or had become the electrician of the white house, 1891, installed electricity. so it's a painting about light. the light coming through the screen. they had both electricity and gas. all of this is very -- by this time, there were photographs but there's none -- there's actually one from this side of the screen and from the other side of the screen. there's no recording of the colors of the screen except written accounts of which are
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excellent. newspapers in those days were written in detail and at length so there's often vivid accounts of things, i gerks pre-tv, people needed them. this was don for the white house historical association. i'm not sure you can see it, but on the floor there, there's a rolled up rug. bill allman had come to my studio to look at the work in progress. he's the curator of the white house. and he had said, i had the carpet stretched over. and he said at the whourite hou a ladder would never have been put on a carpet. it would have been rolled up. so i had to roll it up. here we are back at the capitol. this is the marble room on the senate side. senator byrd wrote an excellent history of the senate. he was an historian, among other things. one of his great stories was in the summer when they opened the stories to try to cool the place down, bats flew in.
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and one of the jobs of the senate pages was to get the bats out of the marble room. one of them is on the table there. the others closing the window or opening the window in an effort to get rid of them. another incident from 19th century washington and kind of a popular one, this is the day they ate the great cheese at the white house given to president jackson. so it's a reconstruction of the east room which had not previously been decorated. it had just sat there. 1837. right at the end of president jackson's term in office, the cheese had sat in the front hall of the white house for a year and then was rolled into the east room. though public were invited in. president jackson was very frail at this point, and they put a little palisade around him being squashed by the public.
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the room itself was the first room at the white house that was decorated with materials essentially from department stores or from a furniture wholesaler in philadelphia rather than having everything custom made. there is a print but it doesn't tell you much but there are excellent written accounts and the wallpaper is like what president jackson used the same wallpaper and a fragment of it was found behind the fireplace and i constructed the wallpaper from that fragment. the curtains are described in -- accounts still exist for all of this, including the details of the curtains, the fabric, how much the walls and so on. you can see in the middle there three little girls finishing their cheese. these are my neighbors who have been pushed into service in a number of paintings.
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here we have the white house. we know the exact date of this painting. june 13th, 1825. the narrative comes from john quincy adams' diary. he used to swim in the potomac, same as later president roosevelt. and on this particular day, he decided to go swimming. i hope you can see him down there in the right-hand corner in his top hat in the boat with his son john jr. and his servant antoine. and they crossed harbor creek. they picked up the boat up near where the organization of american states now is, which was the -- in those days. the stables are still there from the mansion. he didn't really examine the boat too well he said in this account. they crossed the tiber.
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john didn't like the look of the boat and decided he'd swim across and meet them over there. antoine for some reason removed his clothes and left them at the rock, which is now, you can still see at the base of the washington monument. there's a rock there that shows the height of where the creek came up to. i think it's the same rock. and off they went. they discovered they didn't have a bailer. the boat took on water and sank. the president was drawn down by his clothes. he lost his hat. managed to get his clothes off. they got to the virginia side. so they must be good swimmers because the river was much wider in those days. so at this stage, they're all naked on the side of the river. he sent antoine off who found the president's pants, which had drifted to the shore.
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he pult those on and went into town. people were concerned. they knew he'd gone on the boat and saw the boat had capsized. to get help. meanwhile, the president says he and his son sunbathed and swam and gambled on the shore all the while regretting that he had gone out so unprepared. this is what's now the blue room at the white house. the text for this is really good because it's by washington irving who is actually sitting in the -- on the left here. he's there. i think i've got a close-up. he talks about coming to washington. there he is. coming to washington. he stayed in georgetown. he finally got to -- he finally
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got to the white house after many misadventures and was shown into the blazing splendor of mrs. madison's drawing room. and splendid it was. gives a great description of mrs. madison. she's a fine portly, buxon dame who has a smile and pleasant word for everybody. he also described her outfit being pink with fur trim. and we see her there with president madison and admiral decatur. nothing was left of this room after the fire. the only thing that remained was a little fragment of wallpaper which was around the door there and around the top of the walls. the design of the chairs and the overmantel is known. benjamin latrobe, the drawings survived but except for that little piece of wallpaper in a hat box, nothing else.
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this is jameison's cabinet of study where the state dining room is now. he really lived very informally for quite a formal guy. but he had a visitor, margaret baird smith who has wrote about everything in washington and was a terrific writer. and she left a very accurate description of the room, including that he kept his garden tools in the desk and plants in a window and a mockingbird called dick which is flying up there by the print of niagara falls. we also know about the furniture because of inventories. he took things from monticello. so quite a lot of the furniture is monticello furniture. and we know what was left and
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what was government issued furniture. that was left. so i have good, firm historical sources. he's talking to his secretary meriwether lewis in the lewis and clark expedition. back at the capitol, the capitol was the center of washington life in a different way from the white house. they used it for church services, for all sorts of gatherings, scientific demonstrations. people went there for entertainment, particularly women. and this is -- this is when the greenhouse sculpture of george washington was moved into the rotunda. this rotunda, this dome, the dome that's above them is the bull finch dome which was replaced during the civil war. really only one image of that
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dome. but again, good written accounts. they wanted washington's remains to stay at the capitol. that's what the crypt was for. but the family wouldn't let him leave mt. vernon so instead they decided he would be there in spirit and they commissioned this wonderful sculpture of him but people were appalled the president was presented in a semi-naked form. the sculptist said he was not going to spend his time regarding the habidasher's art. people complained it looked like he just got out of the bath. they put a little shed over it and it ended up at the smithsonian. back to the white house momentarily. the arrival of the japanese
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ambassador ambassadors, visitors from the east during president buchanan's presidency. harriet lane there in the blue dress. the japanese ambassadors. those giant wonderful lights outside the white house that were taken out during the roosevelt rehab in 1902. the japanese were immensely popular in washington. people were driven mad by them. women gathered outside their window. they stayed at the willard hotel and became hysterical and huge crowds followed them wherever they went. they were sort of difficult to grasp the amount of excitement they caused both in washington and later on in new york. one of the things that i return to a great deal in my work is building. and this is the library for the hall of the american people. this is the library of congress on the east front, in front of
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the dome of the capitol. i'm interested in building methods. sort of kids are interested, too. i guess being an artisan, because i build my works, i'm interested in process. and i like to show how things are made because most people have no idea how anything is made. in this case, made by slaves. this is deconstructed with the help of bill allen who was the historian over at the capitol at that stage. there's a drawing of the room finished. so we went backwards from finished drawing. he knew what sort of trusses were in the roof. was impressive. here's another building some of you may recognize in washington. the table of the scottish rite on 16th street under construction. and construction methods hadn't changed much. it's pretty, as it was in the days of ancient rome.
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and here the white house under construction. the dereks, the cranes you can see there. those went on being used right up until the building of the library of congress. you see the same wooden frames. on the right there in the distance, the lafayette square and the smokers, the brick kiln. they dug the clay on the site. thornton complained about being in -- the river georgetown in the distance. while i was making this, i had the historic saints mary's church was being rebuilt in maryland. they used only the most authentic means of building so i could see how buildings were built which is how i knew that the plaster was put in barrels
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the way the scaffolding was constructed and so on. here's the capital under construction. they used to complain the pieces for the dome were left lying around and the pigs and animals rubbed themselves against -- rubbed the paint off repeatedly. >> the last of the construction, this is mt. vernon under construction. they wanted a painting that showed the evolution of the house which is pretty clearly presented there, i think. i got the idea of george sitting under the tree with that drape from a photograph of queen victoria doing exactly the same thing. closing up in the octagon. a lot of my paintings that i've enjoyed making the most have been intimate scenes. i'm sorry about the darkness of this image. this is samuel morse in the r m
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room. old house chamber. now statuary hall where he painted his famous painting of the house sitting at night which was in the national gallery. just a fantastic work. he was hoping to make his fortune from that painting but one of many artists whose fortunes have come to grief on the rocky shores of the capitol. and he demonstrated the first use of the telegraph from the capitol. what hath god wrought. he came back as a photographer. here's another -- chester arthur took over the white house after the death of his predecessor and also the death of his wife. this is his sister who became his essentially first lady, and this is the red room decorated by tiffany. the sky festooned with bronze
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stars. the walls in cpompeii in red. the tiffany decorations were very -- except for the screen -- were very fragile and didn't last long. people could go to the white house in those days any old time pretty much. and there's a tourist outside the door there. disturbing the occupants, which was not uncommon. here's another, just a little big -- this is armstead peter iii in his indian costume which is still in the collection. the peter family is so extraordinary. they never threw a thing away. those of you who haven't been to tudor place, i highly recommend it. he's watching a party below while wearing his indian costume. this is a little boy you can see is in white down there. that's kermit roosevelt. the white house had a huge range of greenhouses which were torn
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down. mckines hated victorian things. wasn't that keen on the white house. he re-imagined it as he thought george washington would have if he could have. removing the greenhouses, he got rid of the greenhouses. here we have kermit roosevelt in the green house and his mother coming to get him. i think that childhood often prefigures what happens in later life. and poor kermit ended up on the river of no return with his father in the amazon. and somehow being in the winter garden in the -- well, many greenhouses at the white house, losing his macaw seems to like prefigure what happened to film in later life. this is a poor slide but it's
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such a -- walt whitman wrote about the capitol. wrote about going to the capitol during the civil war. and he talks about it being illuminated by gas light and how he finds solice walking around the capitol at night. obviously no capitol police at the time. and how it makes him feel positive about the outcome of the war. this is two of john taylor's slaves at the octagon watching the white house burn. sort of like -- i sometimes think i should do battle paintings. haven't really had a call to do it yet. but i often like the great things of history happening while people are continuing to conduct their ordinary lives. this is mrs. hays, first lady mrs. hays. although the white house was redecorated constantly, most of the time it was not a clear -- the tiffany, the monroe de
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decoration were really exceptions. most of the time it was something like this. a variety of decorations that strange panels on the wall were put in by president grant's sister but on top of them hung religious paintings, 1815's baroque mirror. there's the lincoln beard. the first lady is there with her servant winnie monroe. very interested in the intimate relations between black people and white people at a time during which separation between the races was obviously terribly important. it's a strange thing and especially for a foreigner, hard to grasp. i'm not a foreigner now. i'm an american now. but they were obviously very close with miss monroe. she was illiterate, but the president after he left office used to send her money but
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afterwards she got other people to write the letters and was a great letter from him to her saying i'm not sure this is even you writing for me. so cat was the first simeese cat in america whose name was ms. pussy. the naval affairs room at the capit capitol. one of the things about washington i love, you're always in the midst of history. this room is fairly unchanged except above the boadoor. they planned a painting for there but the artist got in a spat and painted it out because they wouldn't pay him adequately. another bad story about artists. i have reconstructed the painting and put it back. now here's another fantastic interior in washington. more modern history.
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i hope some of you recognize it. this is really the grandest staircase in the town. this is at the temple at the scottish rite on the corner of f street and 16th street. by pope. he threw everything he had at this building and took it. it's just magnificent. a beautiful and more subtle interior, the latrobe. the old supreme court chamber, of course. just wonderful and wonderfully reproduced. this is one of the few slides. this is actually the sophia which i see strong ties between buildings in washington. obviously, we're creating the ancient world here but the sphere is one of the few buildings from the ancient world you can go in today and see it more or less as the romans saw i it. francis cleveland was very bothered by visitors and moved
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to cleveland park, well, at least for part of the time. more of the tiffany decoration. on the wall, the strange wheel-like thing is seven gaskets. just open and burning. amazing more things didn't burn in washington. this is a theatrical interior. i did an exhibit for the grand lodge of the free masons about the free masons and the history of washington, which is extremely interesting. although i'm not a free mason myself. but the lodge that's further up 16th street, office at meridian hill park, has a theater in it. and part of the rights, theatrical. and all the costumes and all the drops and backdrops and things
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are there. and this is one of the theater sets from the late '20s in perfect order and never seen outside the fraternity. this is called the -- used to be called the ladies waiting room or ladies senate reception room. this was where women after the civil war came to lobby to get pensions. and this was sort of 1870. everyone has gone home, but kind of the spirit of what's happened is still there. this building -- this is the national veterans shrine, not actually in washington. one of the few things. this is in alabama. it's 100-foot freeze that runs around the top. the building is in connection with the national cemetery that's at mont velo. and that's what they called a cloud of witnesses. people who lost or lost
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relatives and friends to war. people who sacrificed. and with that, there's -- that's two angels over the doorway. sort of mysterious. the guy on the right modeled for that. at least -- the model on the right was the collections manager at tudor place. the other was a bike courier i knew around town who unfortunately got cancer and died and was an angel by the time the building opened. very disturbing. i did a series of very large paintings for the national veterans shrine, and during the form of 19th century parade banners to help -- they have a lot of kids come through. and there were lessons, historical lessons they wanted to teach them. this is george washington at valley forge. in the background, he said he
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pledged his life, his sacred honor and his fortune so he really gave feverything to the revolution. i'm a huge fan of washington and made it like a tapestry hanging behind him. this is the seals of the services. i like motifs. i like eagles and flags and flimflam. i'm a big fan. many people when they become americans it's like converting to a religion, and it was like that for me. like people who convert to catholicism want to be more catholic than the most catholic person. i'm like that as an american. this is -- my mind has gone momentarily blake. nathan hale. very good. this is nathan hale. as a parade banner. the first american spy.
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and the little vignettes around the side tell a story of nathan hale. the interpreters at the shrine can point to him being talked to by general washington, talked into becoming a spy and how he came into new york secretly on a ship and then was chased up jamaica bay and came to an untime l untimely end in the hands of the british. sometimes you have the opportunity to put art not only are we in the midst of history but in washington. but sometimes i get the chance to remind people of that. i've done quite a few of these call boxes that you might have seen around town. this one is on the corner of florida avenue and massachusetts avenue. florida avenue used to be called boundary street. it was the boundary of the district. and general washington used to ride up there on his way out of town. just stood at that exact point you could see the general go by
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on his horse. i've done about -- i think there's about ten of mine in washington. quite a lot in calarama and some by the cathedral. mine are unique in that i've put the actual artwork in the call boxes. all the others done by artists, they copied them and -- but it's really expensive to get a painting made into a plastic copy and they haven't lasted. most of them have fallen to bits but these are going on 15 years and still looking good. only had one damaged by a crazy man who has repeatedly attacked by women in power. but he's been arrested and went to court the other day. and one of the people who we associate with the call box committee who recorded video of him just trying to deface the box said as he came into the court he was going down the corridor with his
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court-appointed lawyer and there were posters. he pulled a felt pin out of his pocket and started defacing one of them. there's another of my call boxes. this is alice pike barney on r street. and i'm probably unique in washington in that i've managed to get a picture of a naked man on the streets of washington without incident. she's been sitting there painting her beautiful young model now for ten years. her house, of course, was a famous studio. beautiful on sheridan circle. and this is my biggest work in washington. this is the toy theater which shows a view of what dupont circle was like when the population first started moving up there. surrounded by the toy theater i had as a kid. this is on sunderland place near the old mansion. i met a man who bought an
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apartment and the apartment building did opposite, that faces the mural because he said he liked the view. just a few odd ones here. this is a view of paris i put in freedman's house. but it worked well. i sort of liked it. this guy wanted a fake window with a view of the chrysler building which also worked quite well. did look like a window. and these are fireboards in the 19th century. a popular thing to have a cutout sort of in front of the fireplace in summer. a hound and a pretty lady. the canal in georgetown. now a lot of people ask me -- that's a later view of the white house, 1850. tiger creek, the white house,
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things were not a swamp. i guess everyone here knows that. it wasn't a swamp. it was beautiful. the early accounts of washington, it was beautiful. george washington was really a smart guy. so often i've noticed the bad weather just goes right around us. beware of tornadoes. never in washington. and now people ask me sometimes how the works are made. i've got a few slides here which will give some demonstration of that. this is an aerial view of lafayette square with the white hou house. this was done for the white house historical association. i really wanted to do it the other way around because there's lots of images from the washington monument. but there's no images from this place. this was constructed out of -- from whole cloth. mostly from fire maps but from numerous other sources as well. so this is how i start. i paint the canvas a kind of
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reddy brown. in this case, i laid a map of washington out on it in chalk and then developed from where the buildings were going to go, the map was obviously in perspective. so i started building from scratch. so you can see my interest in construction. the basic colors are put in pretty roughly. you can see on the right-hand side it's still -- the ground still shows. the color starts coming in. the buildings take form. and slowly, little by little, the painting appears. i think we're just about at the end. the street car there was just about at the end. decatur house is on the right-hand side. you can see the slave quarters behind it. and just beyond that was the house that theodore roosevelt stayed in while the white house was being redecorated in 1902.
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and he had a terrible accident with a street car. in my painting, it's august, and he's lying in bed in that house listening to the street cars go by. and two things that i've done very recently, this is new zealand. this is what were the pink and white terraces. an historical view. i've taken a personality that i'm extremely fond of, agnes peter, who was one of the peter family, who traveled a great deal. i had no evidence that she went to new zealand. but here she is taking photographs of friends at the pink and white terraces. these were all destroyed in a huge eruption in 1886. they were one of the wonders of the world, briefly. >> lincoln had a fort on the white house. he was given a little uniform, ted and his brother. they spent their time up there ready to defend the white house
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against the rebels. in the distance you can see the half-built washington monument. and he's got a map of the defenses of washington. and on that note, i'm done. [ applause ] if anyone has any questions, i'm happy to answer. yes. >> where can we see these in real life? how many of them are publicly available? >> you can see quite a number of them actually. some of them are in decatur house, and sometimes they have them, depending on what else they've got on. but usually you can see some in decatur house, which is now open to the public. i don't know how often the octagon has a few. there's a couple at tudor place and not normally on view but in public spaces. the best collection, the ones
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for the capitol, david macculloch came to see my exhibition about the capital which was at the octagon, and he said, whatever you do, don't sell these individually. they must remain together. i thought, oh, he's so smart. this must be right. he was very flattering about them. and i had offers after the exhibit was done. i had offers for a number of the paintings, but i refused while waiting, i thought for a while the capitol might buy some of them at least. if not all. but they could never -- we got close, but carpenter died of old age before they bought his picture of lincoln's cabcabinet and i bore that in mind. but mr. foster of long and foster was building a huge and
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beautiful building in the style of williamsburg out near the airport. and he was looking for art for the building and came to my studio one day and bought them all. and they are all -- so you can see them in the headquarters building. it's like a museum. it's like a museum to me. a big parking lot and they're happy to show them to people. if you're out near the airport, the building itself, even the parking garage looks like it came from williamsburg. and about a week after i got the check, the real estate market collapsed and i felt terrible for him, but not that terrible. so the -- and on my website and i have some brochures to give out i found a couple of days ago. the city owns this. yes, the mayor wanted to collect works about washington and i signed a contract and they have the painting. so perhaps you'll see it in a
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d.c. office or perhaps in the mayor's office. who knows. yes? >> earlier in this series, we heard people talking about historical historical paintings and it never occurred to me until just now that there are modern people doing historical paintings. are you the only one, or are there others? >> it's a specialist field. there are painters who work particularly in maritime themes or in civil war themes. there's some really talented people around. but it's not -- it's a specialist thing. i couldn't have made a living in new zealand doing this. i always had a good excuse for being here. really it was for my career. yes. >> what brought you to the capitol? >> well, i was -- i stopped on my way to england years ago to change planes in texas. and i got off the plane and i thought, this is good. this is really good.
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i dont know what it was about it. i just loved the people. i loved everything about it and i thought i'll be back. and sure enough, i was. and i came here. i sort of traveled to a few places but my father had been depressed and hie was a civil wr buff which is a very unusual thing in new zealand. he needed distracting. so i brought him here. we came to washington. and we both loved it. i just loved it. and we went to the national gallery. we went to civil war battlefields to begin with. you can only take so much of that if you haven't had a lifetime of it. it's very dark and disturbing. we stayed near the circle which was in those days, i guess in the very beginning of the '90ss during the anita hill trial, so, i mean, luckily dad had been in
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cairo during the war so nothing surprised him. but i went to the national gallery and there wereesle l ee in the gallery and you could go there and learn to paint by copying paintings. and i had never had -- when i went to art school, they'd thrown all the easels away. it was like -- we were in a revival of what was going on in the '70s. installations and per foformanc pieces. that wasn't what i was interested in. i came as a copyist and i tried never to go home. i did have to go home and come back and go home and come back while i got a green card, but dad was sad to see me leave from new zealand but glad that uncle sam said i was an alien of extraordinary ability which is the category in which i came. yes? >> [ inaudible ]. >> i put graffiti guard on them.
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we've only had one that's been graffiti'd and you can just sort of wipe it off. but he kept doing it. it's now wiped the paint off and i've got to go and repaint it. no, people have just respected the works. this is an extraordinary country. i couldn't believe it when i came here and saw people with expensive porch furniture left on their porches. or if you drove through little towns, they would leave things outside hardware stores. plants, lawn mowers, whatever, and no one walked off with them. it just seemed miraculous to me. and my little paintings. the deal was i would look after them for 15 years against normal wear and tear which this crazy guy defacing them is not. but they've just lasted. hope they continue to last and last and last. >> graffiti guard? is that a spray? >> it's just this liquid you
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paint on and felt pen and things don't stick to it very well and you can just clean it off the top. >> no glass or piece of plastic? >> water would get behind it. no, they are just sitting there. as i speak probably one of them is being ruined. >> painted on board or -- >> they are on metal. they are on aluminum plate. and they've lasted. i don't know how. amazing. yes. >> i had an honor to consult with peter on lighting and that's just a little niche but i can vouch to his meticulous nature of every detail that you see in there. you are truly an historian, but nobody has ever gone to -- this isn't casual brush strokes. very specific details. they are absolutely correct. so i applaud you. >> thank you for coming. i always say that being an artist, if you were writing and
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if you say you are describing a room and you don't know what the carpet is like, you just ignore it. but if i'm painting, i have to paint something. i can't just ignore the carpet. so i have -- although most of my work comes from second resource s my ability to find things out and get things that are essential to making a painting a convincing re-creation of an historic space is minuscule and often obsessive and like the dolly madison paint with the carpet. the first one i did, i did a whole carpet. it's a complicated job painting a carpet based on margaret's re-creation. this guy called john burrows, an ancient carpet specialist and re-creates carpets for historic things knows that wasn't the right carpet at all. he knew what kind of carpet was in dolly madison's room because
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he'd read about it and found a carpet here at the time. as i said there wasn't a great choice. it wasn't like today where you have 1,000 blue carpets to choose from. if you wanted a blue carpet, there might only be one. and he produced the sample of carpet and i got rid of the old carpet and painted the new carpet. well thank you all so much for coming. i really appreciate it. and we're done. [ applause ] >> thank you, chuck. good to see you. friday night, american history tv in primetime continues with visits to archives, museums and historic sites. at 8:00 p.m., programs on the pearl harbor attack and memorials. then a look at world war ii aircraft and president woodrow wilson. and later, a tour of the ellis
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island immigration museum and the history of african-americans in congress. american artifacts, 8:00 p.m. eastern here on c-span3. next week, "washington journal" will devote the entire program each day to the key issues facing the new trump administration and congress. beginning monday, december 26th, a look at national security and defense issues including challenges facing president-elect trump's national security team in the year ahead and closer look at the secretary of defense nominee james mattis. tuesday, december 27th, trade and job issues examining how congress and the trump administration could change current trade laws in an effort to either create or save jobs. on wednesday, december 28th, our issue topic is energy and environmental policy. we'll discuss how energy and climate issues might be impacted by the new congress and the incoming trump administration.
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thursday, december 29th, we'll talk about immigration and how president-elect trump and the new congress might change immigration policy. and on friday, december 30th, we'll take a look at the future of the affordable care act and how the republican congress and the trump trump administration will repeal and replace@ca and key players to watch in the months ahead. be sure to watch washington journal monday, december 26th, at 7:00 a.m. eastern. this weekend on american history tv on c-span 3, saturday afternoon, just before 5:00 eastern, architectural historian barry lewis talks about the construction of the brooklyn bridge. why manhattan needed the bridge. and how transportation changed at the turn of the 20th century. >> when the brooklyn bridge was opened, it did not put the ferries out of business. the ferries were still running at


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