Since 1973, the Treasury Historical Association has donated gifts to the Treasury Department by acquiring historic works of art and memorabilia related to the Department. Gifts have also been made through contributions to historic preservation projects in the Treasury building. This exhibition brings together a number of items and projects from the last 40 years including decorative and architectural arts, historic documents, prints and photographs.
Cash Room Ceiling Restored
The Treasury Historical Association partnered with the Treasury Department to restore the historic colors and gilding of the Cash Room ceiling as part of a buidling-wide modernization and restoration project from 1997-2007.
Heraldry Architects Sketchbook
J. Goldsborough Bruff was an architect in the Office of the Supervising Architect at Treasury Department in the mid-1800's. His designs provided the symbolic architectural decoration for much of the Treasury building and other federal buildings during this time period. When one of his sketchbooks was discovered, the Treasury Historical Association was able to procure it as a gift to the Department.
Engraving Portrait of Secretary Salmon P. Chase
Among the items that the Treasury Historical Association as presented as gifts to the Department are a number of 19th century prints and engravings depicting historic figures from the Treasury Department and views of the Treasury building. This engraving is a portrait of Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase who served from 1861-64 during the Civil War. He would later go on to become Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
Treasury Photographer's Studio Building
One of the earliest functions moved outside of the Treasury building was the Treasury photographer's lab and studio to a building on the south grounds. Presumably moved because of the harsh odors of the photographic developing chemicals, this "cottage" studio appears frequently in historic photographs of the mid to late 19th century.
Decorative Painting in South Corridor
There was written archival evidence that decorative trompe l'oeil ("fool the eye") framed panels were painted on the walls of the 3rd floor, south corridor giving the illusion of wood paneled walls. During the recent interior modernization and restoration project (2000-2007), the Treasury Historical Association helped fund a study to uncover physical evidence of the trompe l'oeil and to replicate a full panel to hopefully lead to a future full restoration of the corridor.
Secretary Blumenthal Portrait
The first gift that the Treasury Historical Association dontated to the Department was the official portrait of Treasury Secretary Michael Blumenthal in 1979. At the time, cabinet level portraits were put on hiatus by President Jimmy Carter. The portrait tradition was later continued and is ongoing to this day.
Chandeliers in the Secretary's Conference Room
The conference room of the Secretary of the Treasury has been restored to a 19th century appearance and is furnished with period appropriate antique furniture, artwork and decorative arts. The Treasury Historical Association provided financial support for the exquisite chandeliers in the room.
West Stairs Dome Before Restoration
Prior to the interior modernization and restoration project (2000-2007) at the Treasury building, the double spiral staircase in the west wing of the building had two operational elevators in the center core of each stairwell. Also, concrete pads that covered the dome skylights were still in place dating from black-out measures in WWII.
Restored West Dome Treasury Building
The fully restored dome with the three open skylights is one of the largest monumental, triple skylight domes in the United States. The fully restored dome can now be seen as it was when originally over 130 years ago.
West Stair Balustrade Restoration (In Progress)
The remaining element to complete the restoration of the west dome and spiral staircases is the replication of the historic handrail and balustrade. Sections of the balustrade were removed to accommodate the elevator shaft construction in the early 20th century. When the elevators were removed during the recent renovation, temporary safety handrails were installed. The Treasury Historical Association has helped support the floor-by-floor restoration of a handrail and balustrade that match the original sections.
40th Anniversary of the Treasury Historical Association Exhibit
To celebrate the 40th year of the Treasury Historical Association and their continued support of the history of the Treasury Department and building, an exhibit has been installed in the main Treasury building. This online exhibition provides highlights from the exhibit. Public tours of the Treasury building are on Saturdays, require information in advance and can be arranged through your local Congressional Office.