Thursday, November 24, 2005

Photos of the Missouri State Capitol Building

My previous post mentioned a new ballot initiative in the State of Missoui, so I thought I'd post some of my photos of the capitol building taken back in October. Click on any photo for a larger version.

This building was contructed and decorated in the early 20th century, and so it is beautiful and rich in iconic artwork. Here is a painting of an early missionary. It is one of many paintings showing early Missouri life; others include Native Americans, a Spanish Governor, tradesmen, and scientists.

A facteur, trading in furs. Their trading posts were known as "factories".

The interior of the dome. Since their revival in the Renaissance, domes became a common element of important buildings.

The ceiling of the Senate chamber.

Here is the House chamber. On the frieze are the words KNOWLEDGE, LIBERTY, EQUALITY, LAW, JUSTICE, FRATERNITY, and EDUCATION, all of which are Enlightenment ideals. Perhaps a contemporary building would instead use these words: entitlement, money, sex, irony, empowerment, subjectivity, and punitive lawsuits.

Part of the famous mural by Thomas Hart Benton. On the far wall are paintings symbolizing Saint Louis on the left and Kansas City on the right. Over the door is a painting of Frankie shooting Johnny, who, according to a popular song, "did her wrong". Benton's student, Jackson Pollock, became a pioneer in abstract art. We're still waiting for a return to realism.

The Ten Commandments monument outside of the capitol. These monuments are legal, and the Supreme Court has said so. Originally, the ACLU fought the placement of these monuments, but the addition of Jewish, Christian, secular, and even an esoteric symbol made it acceptable.

The sun sets over the capitol.

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