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NEW DATE - Tour: Diplomatic Reception Rooms at the Department of State

This tour has been moved from Jan. 22 due to the government shut down. Tickets from the original date will be honored. 

A living national treasure, that even most Washingtonians do not know about..... 

The Diplomatic Reception Rooms are among the most beautiful rooms in the world. For fifty years, the art of diplomacy has thrived in the Diplomatic Reception Rooms against a stunning backdrop of American art and architecture from the time of our country's founding and of its formative years. This historically evocative suite (42 rooms) contains a museum-caliber collection of American fine and decorative art (5, 000 objects) from the period of 1750-1825. 

Today, the Secretary of State, Vice President, and Members of Cabinet continue to conduct the essential business of diplomacy in the Diplomatic Reception Rooms. In these State Rooms, the United States signs treaties, conducts summit negotiations, hosts swearing-in ceremonies, facilitates trade agreements, and promotes peace.

Presented by: Collin Schnakenberg, Curator at the Diplomatic Reception Room

Organized by: AIA|DC Public Architects Committee


After attending this course, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the development and planning of the rooms from the initial design concepts in 1950 to today;
  • Identify the intersection of the built environment and the art of diplomacy;
  • Explore American history through the Collection, which includes American cabinet works, art objects, silver, and China-Trade porcelains, among others; and
  • Explain the importance of American decorative and fine arts.