Until the late 19th century, White House furnishings, including the china services, were sold off at auction to supplement funds for new furnishings. First Lady Caroline Harrison started a china collection to exhibit the tastes of her predecessors. In 1917, First Lady Edith Wilson created the China Room, now home to the famous White House collection.

The red theme in the room matches the red dress worn by First Lady Grace Coolidge in a full-length portrait with her dog, Rob Roy. The display of china, glass and silver tableware is arranged in chronological order from left to right.