U.S. National Museum Decorated for Garfield Inaugural Ball

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In the United States National Museum Building, now known as the Arts and Industries Building, a view of the North Hall looking towards the Rotunda with the "Statue of America" facing the Hall. The building is decorated for the March 4, 1881, inaugural ball of James A. Garfield and Chester A. Arthur, the first public use of the new museum building. Strings of garlands of electric lights were strung from the ceiling and the "Statue of America" in the Rotanda held an electric lamp in her hand.


  • Arthur, Chester Alan 1829-1886
  • Garfield, James A (James Abram) 1831-1881
  • Arts and Industries Building
  • United States National Museum
  • United States President


Historic Images of the Smithsonian

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Box 32, Folder: 10

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520, SIHistory@si.edu


March 4, 1881

Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • New Museums
  • Electric lighting
  • Statues
  • Rotundas
  • Garfield Inaugural Ball
  • Museum buildings
  • Inaugurations
  • Openings
  • Electricity
  • Inaugural Balls
  • Museum openings
  • Statue of America (Statue)
  • Stencil work
  • Bunting (Cloth)
  • Event


  • Photographic print
  • Interior
  • Event

ID Number

19070 or AI-19070

Physical description

Color: Black and White; Size: 10w x 8h; Type of Image: Interior; Event; Medium: Photographic print

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