Theodore Roosevelt was an avid art collector. The collection at Sagamore Hill includes paintings, bronzes, reliefs, and sculpture.
Theodore Roosevelt's taxidermist James Clark cast this bronze in 1912. It was a gift to Theodore Roosevelt from his younger sister Corinne. Family lore is that Edith Roosevelt did not care for the bronze and hung her gardening hat on the horn. She also encouraged the Roosevelt children to post phone messages on the tick birds on the back of the rhinoceros.
This bronze of a standing moose was sculpted by Carl Rungius in 1905. Rungius was a German-born artist who was interested in creating art based on his experiences exploring the American West in the late 19th century and early 20th century. Rungius was both a painter and a sculptor. Theodore Roosevelt collected several pieces of art by Rungius including sculpture, sketches, and paintings.
First Lady Edith Roosevelt received this set of bisque figurines as a French diplomatic gift in May 1902. The 'Scarf Dance' figurines were designed by French sculptor Agathon Léonard and produced by the National Porcelain Factory of Sévres. Intended for use as a table centerpiece, they combine the finest French craftsmanship in a very traditional medium with the avant-garde subject of modern dance. The three figurines pictured here are Torch, Tambourine, and Scarf.
Plaster model of a bison head sculpted by A. Phimister Proctor and given to Theodore Roosevelt. In 1909, Theodore Roosevelt replaced the stone carved lions on the mantle of the State Dining Room at the White House with carvings of the American bison. TR viewed the lion as a symbol of European monarchy and thought that a uniquely American animal, such as the bison, should be used instead.
"Grand Canyon" by Lucien Powell. Powell was a Virginia-born landscape painter who visited the Grand Canyon in 1901, accompanying a group that was doing a geological survey of the canyon. Theodore Roosevelt who had visited the Grand Canyon in 1903, preserved the canyon as a national monument in 1908.
Oil painting of a charging moose by Carl Rungius. The philanthropist August Heckscher gave this painting of a charging moose to Theodore Roosevelt for his 54th birthday in 1912. At the time, Theodore Roosevelt was running for President as part of the Progressive Party which was nicknamed "The Bull Moose Progressive Party" after TR told a reporter he "felt fit as a bull moose."
"Smokey City" by Fritz Thaulow is an interpretation of industrial Pittsburgh. Thaulow highlights the importance of the train and the mill, as well as the working class neighborhoods that many of the factory employees came from. This painting was a gift to President Roosevelt from Henry Clay Frick in 1902. TR described Thaulow as a "Scandanavian artist who could see the fierce picturesqueness of workaday Pittsburg."
This mosaic designed by Vatican artists depicts Pope Leo XIII in the papal gardens. The mosaic was sent to Theodore and Edith Roosevelt in 1902 by Pope Leo XIII with the Pope's "expression of his high esteem" for the President and his wife. At the time of the exchange, William Howard Taft, who was the Governor General of the Philippines, was in Rome to negotiate the purchase of church lands in the Philippines by the United States. In return, TR gave the Pope a set of books that he wrote.
"Where Light and Shadow Meet" by P. Marcius Simons depicts a river scene with a cathedral or castle-like structure in the background and a bridge with a crucifix. The darkness of the right side of the painting meets with the lightness of the left side of the painting at the base of the crucifix. TR admired the artist's use of light in his paintings. In a letter to the artist dated March 19, 1904, Theodore Roosevelt wrote "I do not greatly care for the reproduction of landscapes which in effect I see whenever I ride and walk. I wish ‘the light that never was on land or sea’, in the pictures that I am to live with – and this light your paintings have."
"Victory" painted by P. Marcius Simons in 1904 was dedicated to Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt. P. Marcius Simons described this painting as "the olive branch tendered to the world but enforced by the sword of justice and might beneath." Edith Roosevelt described the painting in a letter to her sister Emily Carow: "The color is quite beautiful and the picture will always be interesting historically." TR described Simons as "A great imaginative artist, a wonderful colorist, and a man with a vision more wonderful still."
"Porcelain Towers" by P. Marcius Simons depicts colorful sailboats, three pagoda-like towers and small human figures along the coast at sunset. In Theodore Roosevelt's autobiography, Roosevelt described P. Marcius Simons as "a great imaginative artist, a wonderful colorist, and a man with a vision more wonderful still."
Portrait of Theodore Roosevelt Sr. painted by Daniel Huntington in 1884. This painting is one of several copies produced for TR Sr.'s children. A prominent philanthropist in 19th century New York City, TR Sr. helped found the American Museum of Natural History, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Children's Aid Society, among other organizations.
Portrait of Theodore Roosevelt in his Rough Rider uniform painted by Fedor Encke in 1902. Mrs. Bellamy Storer encouraged TR to sit for this portrait after his return from the Spanish American War. In a letter to Mrs. Storer in December in 1902, Roosevelt said "Just at this time I could have received no other present which would have appealed to me so much as the picture by Encke, and I thank you for it with all my heart. I took an immense fancy to the picture. I cannot say that I think it looks particularly like me, but most emphatically it does look the way I should like to have my children and possible grandchildren think that I looked! I have always wanted to have a picture taken in uniform, although I have felt shamefaced about sitting for such a picture in view of my very brief military career. So I do wish you to feel that you have given me the very thing of all others I wanted" (Theodore Roosevelt Papers, Library of Congress).
This portrait of Edith Roosevelt was painted by Philip A. de Laszlo in Washington D.C. in 1908. De Laszlo had been introduced to Theodore and Edith Roosevelt by TR's British friend Arthur Hamilton Lee. Theodore Roosevelt hung this portrait of Edith in the library at Sagamore Hill, opposite his desk.
Oil painting of Theodore Roosevelt copied by Frederick Cullen after Philip de Laszlo. Theodore Roosevelt wears a riding cape and holds gloves and a riding crop. This portrait was given to Edith Roosevelt by Lord Arthur Hamilton Lee in 1922. The original full length portrait of TR done by de Laszlo in 1908 is in the board room at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.