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The "White House Piano"

The "White House Piano"

Steinway and Sons' 100,000th instrument
To celebrate production of their 100,000th keyboard instrument, Steinway and Sons of New York City offered to transform the landmark piano into a gift suitable for use in the White House. President Theodore Roosevelt accepted the offer, requesting that the design be "National in conception." Consequently, three American eagles with outspread wings decorate the legs, and the seals of the original 13 states--their shields wreathed in sprays of oak and laurel--encircle the case. Steinway and Sons installed the piano in the East Room of the White House in February 1903, where it was played by some of the of greatest performers of the time, including Sergei Rachmaninoff, Ferruccio Busoni, and Josef Hofmann.

Oil, lacquer, and gold leaf on wood
Serial # 100,000
The "White House Piano" was retired to the Smithsonian in 1938
Henry Engelhard Steinway, born February 15, 1797, Wolfshagen, Braunschweig; died February 7, 1871, New York, NY
Web display only

Learn more!
· Decoration of the "White House Piano"
· Henry Engelhard Steinway
· "In Praise of Pianos" by Jim Doherty, "Smithsonian" magazine, March 2000
· "Paderewski's Piano" by David Taylor, "Smithsonian" magazine, March 1999
· Theodore Roosevelt, Twenty-sixth President, 1901-1909

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