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Senate Chamber Desks

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Desk 97 (XCVII)

TitleDesk, Senate Chamber, 97 (XCVII)
Artist/MakerU.S. Senate Sergeant at Arms Cabinet Shop after T. Constantine & Co.
Date1959 ca.
MediumMahogany (primary)
Dimensions h. 35.75 x  w. 27.5 x  d. 20.25 in. ( h. 90.8 x  w. 69.85 x  d. 51.43 cm)
Credit LineU.S. Senate Collection
Accession Number66.00097.001

  • Object Description
  • This mahogany writing desk was made specifically for use in the Senate’s legislative chamber in the U.S. Capitol, and is one of 100 desks that are similarly constructed and used daily by senators. It is one of the four made by the Senate Sergeant at Arms Cabinet Shop due to the admittance of Alaska and Hawaii into the Union. This desk features two shaped and fluted legs, a bookshelf supported by mahogany spindles, a drawer, a hinged writing top with storage, and a removable wooden tray for writing tools. Decorative enhancements, including mahogany veneers and circular roundels, evoke the designs of the original 48 desks created for the Senate in 1819 by the New York cabinetmaking firm T. Constantine & Co. The metal grilles on the feet are decorative, and were added to help the new desks visually match the older desks, which retained the grilles from an earlier ventilation system used in the Senate Chamber. Over the years, many senators have inscribed their names in the interior of the desk drawers, making each drawer a unique way of linking current and past desk users. Desk occupants can change every two years with a new Congress, and are based on seniority.

  • Desk Occupants
  • The senators' names listed in this table include both names inscribed in the desk drawer and, beginning with the 99th Congress, the names of all senators who occupied this desk.

    Order Senator State Party
    1McCarthyEugene J. McCarthyMinnesotaD Democrat
    2PellClaiborne de Borda PellRhode IslandD Democrat
    3McGovernGeorge S. McGovernSouth DakotaD Democrat
    4SpongWilliam B. Spong, Jr.VirginiaD Democrat
    5MetzenbaumHoward M. MetzenbaumOhioD Democrat
    6LeahyPatrick J. LeahyVermontD Democrat
    7HumphreyMuriel B. HumphreyMinnesotaD Democrat
    8HumphreyGordon J. HumphreyNew HampshireR Republican
    9NicklesDon NicklesOklahomaR Republican
    10WilsonPete WilsonCaliforniaR Republican
    11WirthTimothy E. WirthColoradoD Democrat
    12MikulskiBarbara A. MikulskiMarylandD Democrat
    13MurrayPatty MurrayWashingtonD Democrat
    14ReedJack ReedRhode IslandD Democrat
    15KlobucharAmy KlobucharMinnesotaD Democrat
    16WarnerMark R. WarnerVirginiaD Democrat
    17HeitkampHeidi HeitkampNorth DakotaD Democrat
    18BoxerBarbara BoxerCaliforniaD Democrat
    19HarrisKamala D. HarrisCaliforniaD Democrat
    20PadillaAlex PadillaCaliforniaD Democrat
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