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The legislative bell service has been given such attention as has been required to keep it in efficient working order, and this same care has been given to the call systems in the office and committee rooms of the House wing of the Capitol, and to the gongs located in the corridors of the House Office Building.
During the year the heating system has been improved by the removal of the old No. 2 coils and replacing with a new system of Aerofin copper coils. The heating of the Statuary Hall section of the Capitol has been reconstructed by the installation of entire new mains and risers to the radiators.
In the Statuary Hall section of the Capitol a new copper roof has been built and the necessary repairs made to gutter and spouting required by the new roof work referred to.
THE CONDITION OF STATUARY HALL
At the present time there are located in Statuary Hall 52 statues. Several States are not represented in this collection and some of the States are only represented by one statue. The right of each State to place in Statuary Hall two statues, in marble or bronze, was provided in the act authorizing the use of the old hall of the House of Representatives as a national statuary hall.
It is evident that there is not room for 96 statues within the area of Statuary Hall. At the present time the 52 statues have nearly filled all of the space available. It is known that several States contemplate sending statues, and that commissions for six or more statues have been awarded. This is not confined to single statues, but represents two statues for each of the States planning to be represented in Statuary Hall. It has been suggested that the crypt might be used as a location for all of the statues from the different States, and that in that event Statuary Hall might be restored to as near as possible the condition which existed when it was a meeting place for the House of Representatives. It has also been suggested that areas adjoining Statuary Hall might be filled with statues from such States as might hereafter send their contributions. This space will be, at the best, if fully occupied, insufficient to furnish locations for 96 statues, the full representation of two statues from each of the States. Attention has been invited to this condition in order that the Congress might take into consideration the possibility of the time soon approaching when there will be no further space available in Statuary Hall, and several States, by reason of the crowded condition, unable to secure a representation in this national assembly of statues of distinguished citizens.
ART AND ART REFERENCE LIBRARY
During the past fiscal year there have been no additions to the statuary of the Capitol. Several commissions for statues for Statuary Hall are being filled, and one commission for a bust of a Vice President is nearing completion.
The art reference library is growing both in the number of books and in usefulness as a means of information. There have been received since the last report a series of small pamphlets, including biographies of prominent Americans and concise articles upon timely topics. These will be given a box binding, and the index of the series typed and affixed to the cover. Reports from art institutions and catalogues of exhibitions should be included in the accession of the year.
Special articles of interest to the library such as one upon the missing portraits of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, the first works of art owned by the Government, contained in a publication of the Massachusetts Éistorical Society, and an article upon Giuseppe Valaperti, one of the early sculptors of the Capitol, published in the bulIetin of the New York Historical Society, have been received. The publications referred to contain other articles of interest worthy of a place in any library.
Among the books received are, The Independence Square Neighborhood, a well illustrated volume relating to the historic section of Philadelphia, in which the Declaration of Independence and the early Congress of the United States were the center of historical interest; Formation of the Union, a compilation of the documents showing the progress of the change occurring when the Continental Congress developed into the Congress of the United States. American Miniatures, a well prepared book showing the development of the art of miniature painting in the United States, and containing 48 illustrations of the work of leading miniature painters and the Smithsonian Institution 1846-1896. An interesting history of the institution during the first half century of its existence.
This small library is fortunate in the possession of a variety of information relating to the architects and artists connected by their work with the art of the Capitol, including the Journal of Latrobe; The Life and Letters of Charles Bulfinch; A Vision Realized, being the story of the life of Rev. J. A. Ortel, painter, teacher, and pastor; the biography of Giuseppe Fagnani; correspondence of Thomas Crawford and Randolph Rogers, with letters written by them during the period of the 50's; correspondence of Gouverneur Kemble with Capt. M. C. Meigs and J. G. Chapman; a large number of copies and abstracts from letters of B. H. Latrobe and a file of 50 numbers of the Nut Shell, a small quarterly publication with reminiscences of A. G. Heaton, covering an active period as painter for more than 60 years.
One of the important accessions to the art reference library has resulted in the transfer to the library of six large volumes of photographs collected during the period of the erection of the Senate and House wings of the Capitol. Briefly described, these six books contain 246 photographs of construction, including photographs of portions of the sculpture of the Senate pediment and the ceiling decorations of the Hall of the House of Representatives, while the photographs relating to plans, drawings, and details of the wings of the Capitol number 513.
BUSTS OF VICE PRESIDENTS IN THE SENATE WING
In the construction of the extension of the Capitol and the completion of the Senate Chamber and the Hall of the House of Representatives niches were provided in the gallery floors of each of these
rooms set apart for legislative purposes, the idea being stated by Capt. M. C. Meigs, the constructor in charge of the Capitol, that if niches were provided works of art would be provided later to fill these vacant spaces.
The Art Commission, consisting of Henry K. Brown, James R. Lambdin, and John F. Kensett, appointed by President James Buchanan May 18, 1859, recommended in their report an estimate of the cost of providing paintings and sculpture, including in this estimate four statues for the Senate retiring room ($20,000) and for two colossal busts for the Senate Chamber ($3,000). These recommendations failed to receive the approval of Congress and the Art Commission was abolished in 1860.
It does not appear that any steps were taken to provide busts for the Senate wing of the Capitol until January 16, 1885, when Senator George F. Hoar, of Massachusetts, offered the following resolution for marking the room in which Vice President Henry Wilson died November 22, 1875:
Resolved, That the Architect of the Capitol, under the direction of the Committee on the Library, place a neat marble tablet in the room in the Senate wing of the Capitol where Vice President Henry Wilson died, properly recording the fact and date.
It will be observed by the foregoing resolution that at this time it seemed to be intended that the memory of Mr. Wilson should be honored by the placing of a marble tablet in the room of the Vice President, in which room Mr. Wilson died.
(Extracts from the minutes of the Joint Committee on the Library, January 23, 1885)
Mr. Hoar asked the informal approval by the committee of a proposition to be submitted to the Senate by Mr. Dawes to request the committee to purchase of Mr. French (Daniel C. French), sculptor, a bust of Hon. Henry Wilson for $1,000 and have it placed above the tablet to his memory in the room in which he died, which was unanimously agreed to.
(In the Senate of the United States January 27, 1885, 48th Cong., 2d sess.)
Mr. Dawes offered the following resolution, concerning which he briefly addressed the Senate, after which it was unanimously passed :
“Resolved, That the Joint Committee on the Library be requested to cause a bust of the late Vice President Wilson to be placed over the tablet lately ordered to be placed in the room where he died."
(Extract from the minutes of the Joint Committee on the Library, January 30, 1885)
The resolution of the Senate of January 27, 1885, that the committee be requested to cause a bust of the late Vice President Wilson to be placed over the tablet in the room in which he died was read and on motion of Mr. Hoar it was unanimously agreed that the chairman be requested to contract with Mr. French, sculptor, for said bușt at a cost not exceed ng $1,000 when placed in position.
In the course of time the bust executed by Daniel Chester French was received and placed upon a bracket in the Vice President's room, but at this time there was no tablet stating the fact of the death of Vice President Wilson in the room in which his bust had been installed. So that the original idea of marking the room with a tablet seems to have been set aside, unless it may have been supposed that the bracket supporting the bust would furnish sufficient space upon which to place the inscription contemplated by the resolution directing the Architect of the Capitol to place a neat marble tablet in the room in the Senate wing of the Capitol where Vice President Henry Wilson died properly recording the fact and date. Evidently from the time of the installation of the bust until 1902, a matter of some 17 years, the original purpose seems to have been lost sight of. On April 26, 1902, Mr. Hansbrough, from the Committee on the Library, reported a resolution which was referred to the Committee to Audit and Control the Contingent Expenses of the Senate and ordered to be printed. The resolution (S. Res. 205, 57th Cong. 1st sess.) is as follows:
Resolved, That the expense incurred by the Superintendent of the Capitol Building and Grounds author'zed by Senate resolution of January 16, 1885, in procuring and placing a commemorative tablet in the Senate wing of the Cap tol where Vice President Henry Wilson died, be paid from the contingent fund of the Senate.
By this time the marble tablet authorized had been changed to a bronze tablet and its cost provided for out of the contingent fund of the Senate. The tablet was designed by the Henry-Bonnard Bronze Co., the copy for which is said to have been furnished by Senator George F. Hoar:
In this room Henry Wilson, Vice President of the United States and a Senator for 18 years, died November 22, 1875. The son of a farm laborer, never at school more than 12 months, in youth a journeyman shoemaker, he raised himself to the high places of fame, honor, and power, and by unwearied study made himself an authority in the history of his country and of 1 berty and an eloquent public speaker to whom Senate and people eagerly listened. He dealt with and controlled vast public expenditure during a great civil war, yet lived and died poor, and left to his grateful countrymen the memory of an honorable publ'c service, and a good name far better than riches.
The inscription upon this tablet should prove an inspiration to those whose ambition has been lulled by the to them apparent lack of opportunity.
A little more than a year after the first steps were taken in the Senate to memorialize the death of Henry Wilson, Senator John J. Ingalls introduced a resolution forming the initial legislation toward the recognition of the service of Vice Presidents by placing in the vacant niches of the Senate Chamber marble busts of those who had been Vice Presidents. The action is stated in the Congressional Record for January 27, 1886, as follows:
Mr. Ingalls submitted the following resolution; which was considered by unanimous consent, and agreed to:
“ Resolved, That the Committee on the Library be d rected to consider the subject of placing busts of Vice Presidents and the Presidents pro tempore of the Senate in the vacant niches of the Senate Chamber and its corridors, and to report by bill or otherwise."
Under the reference of this resolution to the Committee on the Library, this committee at a meeting held on February 4, 1886, considered the matter referred and the following action was taken:
Resolution (S) by Mr. Ingalls, as to filling vacant niches in Senate Chamber and corridors with busts of Vice Presidents and Presidents pro tempore. referred to Mr. Voorhees, who stated that if he found, upon inquiry, the object to be accomplished could be paid for out of the contingent fund of the Senate
he would introduce a resolution instead of a bill. (Minutes of Joint Committee on the Library, p. 204.)
In the Senate proceedings for February 8, 1886, as contained in the Congressional Record, p. 1192, further action was taken:
Mr. VOORHEES. In response to a resolution offered by the Senator from Kansas (Mr. Ingalls) and adopted by the Senate on the 27th of January, I am instructed by the Committee on the Library to offer the following resolution :
“Resolved, That marble busts of those who have been Vice Presidents shall be placed in the vacant niches of the Senate Chamber, that the Architect of the Capitol is authorized, subject to the advice and approval of the Senate Committee on the Library, to carry into execution the object of this resolu
tion, and the expenses incurred in doing so shall be paid out of the contingent fund of the Senate."
I ask that the resolution be placed on the calendar.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The resolution with the favorable report of the committee, will be placed on the calendar.
On May 13, 1886, the resolution was taken up for action in the Senate, at this time while under consideration it was suggested that it might be possible for the Architect of the Capitol to place commissions for all of the busts of those who had served as Vice Presidents,