Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Senate's LBJ Room: The Sistine Chapel Of The West It's Not. From TRMS

The Sistine Chapel Of The West It's Not...

In the 1850s, in what is presently the Senate's LBJ Room but what- at that time- was to be a library, the decorating decision-makers planned on showcasing four library-relevant-themed Neoclassic fresco-style paintings.

The four themes were to be: 1.) History 2.) Geography 3.) Philosophy and 4.) Print.

The first two paintings had been finished when, in the 1860s, the library plan was shelved (no pun intended - initially) and the room was, instead, to be made into a Post Office.

With the change of purpose, the latter two of the four themes were changed.

The four themes became: History, Geography, Physics and... The Telegraph.

I'm sure that the decorators/painters felt that their vision for the themes - particularly the last two paintings - showed reverence and respect for the exceptional painters/works from history... with a few upgrades.

End result? America is (metaphorically-speaking) depicted as the pinnacle of Health, Vitality and - as evidenced by the inclusion of a steamship and a train in the background of the "Physics" painting and the placement of a telegraph line in the hand of a cherub and placement of a telegraph pole in the background of the "Telegraph" painting - Modernity.

Hey! Look up... What's that? Oh, I know... It's Lady Liberty... and - whoa! - She's Hangin' Ten... and doing so noplace other than atop the crest of the latest wave of technological advancement!

I kid you not.

It's kinda weird - not that there's anything wrong with this variety of "weird" - but, in a trippy/quircky American History sort-of-way.

Check it out in the brief clip from TRMS that you'll find below.


L. :)

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