U.S. National Museum Decorated for Garfield Inaugural Ball

ID: 37715A or MAH-37715A

Creator: Unknown

Form/Genre: Photographic print

Date: 1881

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

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The rotunda of the new United States National Museum (USNM), now the Arts and Industries Building (A&I), decorated for President James A. Garfield's and Chester A. Arthur's Inaugural Ball, March 4, 1881. This was the first event held in the new building. Electric lights were strung along the ceiling and the "Statue of America" in the rotunda held an electric lamp in her hand. Buntings and flags decorated the walls and a wooden floor was laid for the event. In this view of the rotunda, men are sitting at the base of the statue (center) and on the balcony (upper left).


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


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


  • Photographic print
  • Interior
  • Event

ID Number

37715A or MAH-37715A

Physical description

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

Full Record

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