The Capitol Dome

Winter 2015-16

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38 T he U.S. Capitol Historical Society augmented its annual August series of brown bag lectures with additional events in June and July. David S. (retired from Colorado State University) and Jeanne T. Heidler (senior civilian faculty member of U.S. Air Force Academy's history depart- ment) began the summer with a June 2 dis- cussion and book signing of their recent work, Washington's Circle: e Creation of the President. eir presentation focused on George Washington's standardization of social gatherings during his presidency, one of the elements involved in the practi- cal creation of the presidency. Debra Hanson (VCUQatar) gave the Capitol-focused August series an early start with a July 29 lecture in the Russell Senate Caucus Room about the various portrayals of George Washington in art- work in the Capitol's Rotunda, including Constantino Brumidi's e Apotheosis of Washington. Amy Burton and Christiana Cunningham-Adams presented a two-week mini-series on the landscape medallions in the Brumidi Corridors. On August 5, Burton, from the Office of the Sen- ate Curator, discussed her discovery of the source material for the medallions: reports on possible transcontinental rail- road routes produced for Congress in the mid-nineteenth century. e follow- ing week, Cunningham-Adams, from the Office of the Architect of the Capitol, discussed painting conservation generally and the landscape medallions specifically, including before and aer pictures of one medallion that had been overpainted with an entirely different scene. In the final talk of the summer on August 26, Curator for the Architect of the Capitol Barbara Wolanin discussed her recent research on the friendship between Constantino Brumidi and Justin Morrill, a representa- tive and senator from Vermont, which highlights the paintings Brumidi did for Morrill's homes and suggests that Morrill's ideas influenced Brumidi's work. On August 19, Ron Duquette, an his- torical interpreter, presented information on the War of 1812, the Treaty of Ghent, and the early Treasury Department in the person of Albert Gallatin. Gallatin was one of the negotiators of the Treaty of Ghent aer serving in the House and as secretary of the Treasury. Most of the lectures aired on C-SPAN in the fall of 2015. Go to and search for "U.S. Capitol Historical Society" to find these and other USCHS events. Stayed tuned to the calendar and announcements at for the latest news on 2016 events. Summer Lectures Third Chief of Staff Event Features Rick Murphy, Chief of Staff to Senator Kelly Ayotte S enator Kelly Ayotte's (R-NH) chief of staff, Rick Murphy, was the U.S. Capitol Historical Society's honored guest at the annual Congressional Staff event on September 16. Murphy joined members of the USCHS Constitution Signers and Leadership Council for lunch in Express Scripts's lovely space overlooking the Capitol. Murphy provided sincere and thoughtful remarks on his commitment to public service, including to Senator Ayotte's constituents and to the senator herself. Murphy's comments emphasized his commitment to public service aer spending 15 years in the private sector and made Society staff recall the Honorable Lee Hamilton's keynote address at our 2003 dinner honoring the staff directors of the committees of the U.S. House of Representatives. Hamilton said, "Your public service gives you a stimulating, proud and lively career….I hope you feel that by working in the Congress you are given the unique opportunity to make a difference in the lives of people and the great affairs of this nation." USCHS wishes to thank Express Scripts for generously hosting and exclusively supporting this event. Phil Park (Altria), Rick Murphy (Office of Senator Kelly Ayotte), and Megan Hauck (Nathanson+Hauck) Ann Taylor (Sanofi) listens thoughtfully as Angela Song (Express Scripts) looks on. Jonah Houts (Express Scripts) and Rick Murphy share a laugh. Ron Duquette as Albert Gallatin Jeanne and David Heidler Amy Burton

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