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Senate Unveils Mural portraits of Arthur Vandenberg and Robert Wagner

Senate Reception Room South Wall

On September 14, 2004, the U.S. Senate unveiled two new portraits in the Senate Reception Room of Senators Arthur H. Vandenberg (R-MI) and Robert F. Wagner (D-NY).

Tennessee artist Michael Shane Neal was chosen to paint the portrait of Senator Vandenberg.  His previous commissioned portraits include U.S. Senator J. Bennett Johnston of Louisiana, Ambassador Paul Nitze (former Secretary of the Navy), and Christian Archibald Herter (former Massachusetts Governor and U.S. Secretary of State).

Native New York artist Steven Polson painted Senator Wagner's portrait.  Other notable portraits by Polson include Bill Richardson  (former Secretary of Energy and U.N. Ambassador), Ron Brown (former Secretary of Commerce), Mickey Kantor (former U.S. Trade Representative), Christine Todd Whitman (former Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency), and businessmen Ernest and Julio Gallo.

Other paintings found within the Senate Reception Room include those of Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, John C. Calhoun, Robert M. La Follette, Sr., and Robert A. Taft.  This group of distinguished Senators, known as the “Famous Five", was unveiled on March 12, 1959.  The honored Senators and their artists were selected according to established Senate procedure.  

The Senate Reception Room has over 140 years of history.  The U.S. Senate moved into its new chamber in 1859.  The Senate Reception Room, adjacent to the chamber, is an elaborately decorated room where countless guests, dignitaries, and constituents have been welcomed to the U.S. Senate.