Because one man opposed Texas, his 19th century monumental bed
never got to the White House. Instead, it went to Louisiana for 156
years. Now it's found a final resting place in -- guess -- Texas.
This Gothic style bed, measuring 13 feet high, 7 feet 5 inches
wide and almost 9 feet long, was made in 1844 for presidential
candidate Henry Clay. However, Clay lost the election due to his
opposition to the annexation of the Republic of Texas and the bed
met the same fate. The bed was sold to a plantation owner in
Louisiana until it was sold to the Dallas Museum of Art for its
Decorative Arts permanent collection.
How much to sleep in it? Priceless. No campaign donations
The bed, originally destined for the White House, is regarded as
one of the finest surviving examples of American Gothic Revival
furniture. The bed, commissioned for Clay by his Whig Party
supporters and made by Crawford Riddell of Philadelphia, was
specifically designed for the room in the White House now known as
the Lincoln Bedroom, which served as the presidential bedroom until
Clay, who ran for president three times and was known as the
Great Compromiser for his peace keeping abilities, seemed a shoo-in
in 1844 but lost the election in the final weeks of his campaign,
due to his wavering on the question of the annexation of Texas into
Constructed of rare Brazilian rosewood, poplar and pine, the bed
features exquisite carving and embodies classic features of Gothic
Revivalism. An intricate high-backed headboard and crafted posts
incorporate Gothic vaulted arches and signature symmetrical design.
Official architecture, such as London's House of Parliament built
between 1834 and 1860, stimulated the Gothic Revival movement on an
international scale and the style was seen as a symbolic re-
appraisal of medieval social and religious qualities.
Looks like 150 years ago, it didn't pay to mess with Texas. Guess
that may still hold true.
Notable: The bed stayed at Rosedown Plantation to the present,
except to be conserved in the 1960s. The plantation owner had to add
a wing to his mansion to accommodate the bed and then had to build
an additional wing to add balance to the house.
A bed 7 feet wide can accommodate five people comfortably
sleeping side by side. Approximately two California king-size bed
sheets are needed to cover this bed.
The Dallas Museum of Art has free admission and is open from 11
a.m. until 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays, staying open until 9
p.m. on Thursdays. Don't go by on Christmas, New Year's Day,
Thanksgiving or Mondays.
Oklahoma pilot Robert Ragozzino will be at Omniplex on Saturday
to talk about his record-setting voyage around the world, a flight
that began and ended in Oklahoma. He will speak briefly at the 11
a.m., 12:45, 3:15 and 6 p.m. showings of The Magic of Flight in the
Fresh from his ROCKCITY.COM world tour, Ragozzino will autograph
photos of "The King," his Stearman biplane, commemorating his record-
setting journey. The biplane will be on display along with three of
his flight uniforms, photographs and a map documenting the flight
from Saturday through Jan. 31 in Omniplex.
The pilot touched down at Wiley Post Airport in Oklahoma City on
Nov. 17, 2000, after completing his historic around-the-world flight
in five and a half months aboard "The King." Ragozzino's trip
consisted of flight and non-flight days, averaging six flight hours
per day, with 20 days grounded for various reasons. He had traveled
32,000 miles in 170 hours.
Back by popular demand is Everest, which will return to Omnidome
from Dec. 22 through Jan. 1. The breathtaking film will join
Dolphins and The Magic of Flight for Omnidome's holiday visitors'
enjoyment. (The weather this week ought to put everyone in the mood
to climb by proximity the massive Mount Everest. …