U.S. National Museum Decorated for Garfield Inaugural Ball

ID: 44173 or MAH-44173

Creator: Unknown

Form/Genre: Photographic print

Date: 1881

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

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The Smithsonian Institution Archives welcomes personal and educational use of its collections unless otherwise noted. For commercial uses, please contact photos@si.edu.
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The United States National Museum (USNM) Building decorated for the March 4, 1881, inaugural ball of James A. Garfield and Chester A. Arthur, the first public use of the museum building. A broadside for the inaugural (neg # 72-1115) describes the decorations as "artistic, munificent, and attractive, embellished by the coats-of-arms of the different States, handsomely festooned with State flags and seals. In the central rotunda is the colossal 'Statue of America,' illustrative of peace, justice, and liberty; grasping in her uplifted hand an electric light, indicative of the skill, genius, progress, and civilization of the 19th century."


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


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



Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Interiors
  • Electric lighting
  • Statues
  • Garfield Inaugural Ball
  • Rotundas
  • Museum buildings
  • Buildings, Openings
  • Inaugurations
  • Electricity
  • Inaugural Balls
  • Statue of America (Statue)
  • Stencil work
  • Bunting (Cloth)
  • Presidents
  • Event
  • United States--Presidents


United States


  • Photographic print
  • Interior
  • Event

ID Number

44173 or MAH-44173

Physical description

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

Full Record

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