After the colonies declared their independence from England, a style of decoration emerged in the new nation of America. From 1780 to 1820, furniture that mimicked the English styles of the time became popular in the United States. The colors of the Federalist style were very light in motif and adorned with symbols of a budding nation: stars, eagles, shields, flags and cornucopias were common. When the State of Georgia decided to build a permanent residence for its Chief Executive over 140 years later, a 70-member fine arts committee chose to decorate and furnish the Mansion in the Federalist style.
The committee obtained for the Georgia Governors Mansion what is today one of the top five collections of Federalist period antiques in the United States. Originally acquired in 1967 when the Mansion was under construction, the collection is now valued at just over $19.5 million. Despite constant upkeep, there are pieces in need of restoration, preservation or replacement after almost four decades of use. To raise funds for restoration efforts, First Lady Mary Perdue established the Friends of the Mansion, a non-profit organization, in 2004. Mrs. Perdue graciously invited State of the Arts to the Mansion for a preview of the first few restoration projects. To learn more about the Governors Mansion look them up on the web.