Hours after Joe Biden took office, the Oval Office was already quite different. The new US president has ordered changes to the White House office to signal issues he advocates for, such as respect for science and the fight for racial equality – and to remove symbols of Donald’s administration Trump.
The most visible change, however, is cosmetic: the carpet. Trump wore one in cream color and Biden opted for another in a dark blue hue, which has not been used since the Bill Clinton administration (1993-2001). The curtain behind your desk has also changed: it remains gold, but now in a slightly darker tone.
Decorative items can be chosen from the White House collection or borrowed from museums. It is common for presidents to ask for changes when they take office.
Biden exchanged several photos and busts. He took the portrait of Andrew Jackson (1767-1845), a populist president who encouraged the massacre of Indians, and replaced one of Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), one of the founding fathers of the States- United and author of several experiments with electricity.
The tribute to Franklin was highlighted as a sign of respect for science. Near the painting, according to the Washington Post, is a set of moonstones, another reference to scientific achievements.
The new president will also have busts of César Chávez (1927-1993), a trade unionist of Latin origin, and Robert Kennedy (1925-1968), a former attorney general who defended the advancement of civil rights and fought the Mafia. A bust of Martin Luther King (1929-1968), a leader of the black struggle for civil rights, has been in the room since Barack Obama (2009-16).
On the other side of your table, five photos have been placed. The most important is that of ex-President Franklin Roosevelt (1882-1945), who ruled the country during World War II and who inherited the country devastated by the Great Recession in 1933. The Democrat also implemented the New Deal, a series of infrastructure, financial reform and regulatory programs that had the greatest impact in the 20th century.
Next to it are images of George Washington (1732-1799) and Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865).
Biden also had portraits of Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804) and Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) fixed side by side, two founders of the country who held opposing political views. The choice suggests a reminder that opponents can live together peacefully and echoes the discourse by union.
The Democrat also withdrew several military flags that the predecessor had placed, leaving only two, the United States and the one with the presidential seal. And he brought back the impressionist painting “Avenue in the Rain”, painted by Childe Hassam, in 1917, which depicts a series of American flags.
The worktable will be the same as before. Called the Resolute Desk, she rose to fame thanks to photos showing former President John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) working while her son John Jr. played under her. After the Democrat’s assassination, the table was replaced with another until it was brought back to the Oval Office in the 1970s by Jimmy Carter.
Made from the wood of a 19th century British ship, HMS Resolute, and donated by Queen Victoria to former President Rutherford B. Hayes in 1880, the Resolute Desk has been used by every President since.
The current Oval Office was built in 1934 after a fire in the White House and is located in a corner of the west wing of the Presidential headquarters on the first floor. Its windows overlook a huge garden, the rose garden. On one side of the room there is the office. On the other, a fireplace, with two chairs nearby, where the president usually poses for photos with visitors. The environment is approximately 75 m².