Maker: Robert Whitley (Master craftsman, American)
Place Made: Bucks County, Pennsylvania
Medium: Wood, leather
Dimensions: 31 1/2" x 71 1/2" x 48"
Replica of the Victorian period desk, originally designed and built by William Evenden at Chatham dockyard in England. The desk is ornately carved on the four vertical sides. It has functional drawers and cupboard doors on the front and back sides, and a gilded leather top. The front of the desk has an inserted panel carved with the Presidential Seal, an addition carved by the White House carpenter and ordered by President Franklin D. Roosevelt who wished to install a safe as well as block his leg braces from view. The desk disappeared from public view for a number of years and early in the Kennedy Administration, Mrs. Kennedy discovered it in the White House broadcast room. Because of President Kennedy's love of the sea and interest in naval history she had the desk returned to a place of honor in his Oval office on February 4, 1961.
John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum