Contribute Now

Anderson House   History


Larz and Isabel Anderson were both born into families with established wealth and strong ties to America's founding generations. They met in Rome in 1895 when he was posted at the American embassy in Italy and she was on her grand European tour. Two years later, they were married at the Arlington Street Church in Isabel's native Boston. In addition to Anderson House in Washington, they owned homes in Brookline, Massachusetts, and the New Hampshire mountains. The couple's life together was filled with public service, world travel, entertaining, collecting, and charitable giving.

Larz Anderson (1866-1937) was the son of Civil War general Nicholas Longworth Anderson and Cincinnati socialite Elizabeth Coles Kilgour. The Anderson family, one of the most prominent in Cincinnati, traced its fortune back to the post-Revolutionary War real estate ventures of Lt. Col. Richard Clough Anderson, Larz Anderson's great grandfather and an original member of the Society of the Cincinnati.

Though his roots were in Ohio, Larz Anderson had considered himself a Washingtonian since the age of fifteen, when his parents moved with Larz and his younger sister, Elsie, into a home at the corner of 16th and K streets designed for them by Henry H. Richardson. Larz Anderson soon left for preparatory school at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. He then graduated from Harvard University in 1888, the third member of the Anderson family to attend the school. After a year-and-a-half tour around the world—his first exposure as an adult to the cultures that inspired his life-long collecting and travels—Larz Anderson began his diplomatic career in 1891 as a second secretary of the American legation in London.

Read More<

Read More about Servants at Anderson House.

From the

Museum Collections

From the Museum Collections

Mantel clock
Larz Anderson commissioned this patriotic mantel clock for the English Drawing Room, honoring his ancestors who served in the Revolutionary War and Civil War.
Made by Edward F. Caldwell & Company, New York, 1911

Browse Library Collection