U.S. National Museum Decorated for Garfield Inaugural Ball, 1881, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, The West Hall looking towards the Rotunda of the new United States National Museum, now the Arts and Industries Building, decorated for President James A. Garfield and Vice President Chester A. Arthur's Inaugural Ball, March 4, 1881. This was the first event held in the new building, before the exhibits were installed. A temporary wooden floor was laid for the event, two electric lights were placed in the Rotunda, 10,000 bins for hats and coats were erected, 3,000 gas lights were installed, and festive buntings, state flags and seals decorated the halls. A colossal "Statue of America" stood in the Rotunda, illustrative of peace, justice and liberty, grasping in her uplifted hand an electric light "indicative of the skill, genius, progress, and civilization" of America in the 19th century. The stencil work in the Rotunda can be seen. The building opened to the public in October 1881..