Fishbowl from The West Wing

Fishbowl from The West Wing

<< >>
Usage conditions apply

This fishbowl sat on the desk of Press Secretary C.J. Cregg (played by Allison Janney) on the NBC television drama The West Wing. In Season 1, Episode 9, “The Short List,” White House reporter Danny Concannon (played by Timothy Busfield), gave Cregg a live goldfish, named Gail, after Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Lyman (played by Bradley Whitford) told him she liked goldfish, meaning the snack cracker. Throughout the rest of the series, the goldfish bowl was subtly decorated to reflect plot storylines. In Season 1, Episode 10, “In Excelsis Deo,” which was a Christmas episode, the fishbowl had a miniature Christmas tree inside (Catalog Number 2000.3050.05) as well as an artificial poinsettia wreath on top (Catalog Number 2000.3050.06).

The West Wing is a one-hour drama that aired on NBC from September 22, 1999 to May 14, 2006. It is set in Washington, D.C., and follows the fictional Democratic President Josiah “Jed” Bartlet (played by Martin Sheen) and his senior West Wing staff behind-the-scenes during political and personal issues through two terms of office. The creator, Aaron Sorkin, was the lead writer for almost all of the episodes in the first four seasons, working with fellow executive producers Thomas Schlamme and John Wells. The West Wing is known for its quick dialogue and shots of staff walking and talking through the hallways of the White House—known as “walk and talks.” The series won 26 Emmy Awards and 3 Golden Globes.

Currently not on view
Object Name
bowl, fish
Date made
Associated Name
Janney, Allison
Physical Description
glass (overall material)
stone (overall material)
overall: 21.5 cm x 21 cm x 12.5 cm; 8 7/16 in x 8 1/4 in x 4 15/16 in
ID Number
nonaccession number
catalog number
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Entertainment
The West Wing
Popular Entertainment
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.


Add a comment about this object