When Thomas Jefferson began his term in 1801, he used this room as an office and the adjoining Red Room to meet guests and visitors. President James Madison established the State Dining Room in 1809. The Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington hung on the west wall before First Lady Dolley Madison had it removed to safety in 1814 before the White House was burned by the British.
During his large scale 1902 renovation, President Theodore Roosevelt greatly expanded the Dining Room, increasing its capacity to 140 seated guests. A centerpiece of that renovation was a collection of wild animal heads, including a moose head over the fireplace mantel.
During the Obama Administration, state dinners have been held in the larger East Room and in tents on the South Lawn. The State Dining Room has been used for meetings with members of Congress and other groups.