Thursday, April 28, 2011

The President's Room

During the 1860's and early 1870's an artist named Constantino Brumidi worked his magic creating the Capitol's most impressive showroom, The President's Room.  Brumidi frescoed his own art gallery on square inch after square inch of ceiling and walls.  In addition to panels showing the members of Washington's first Cabinet, he painted curlicued designs framing symbolic figures, pensive Madonnas, and happy cherubs.

Though Presidents seldom visit this room now, many Chief Executives, beginning in the 1860's sat at its oval table, signing 11th hour bills into law.

Though Brumidi did not complete every  space he was quoted saying "Sooner or later disfiguring panels must be completed".  In 1957 a special Senate Committee headed by future President John F. Kennedy, chose five outstanding Senators and leaders of the past to be honored by protraits painted in the medallions.  Chosen were "the Great Triumvirate" Clay, Webster, Calhoun, Robert M. La Follette, Sr, and Robert A. Taft.

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