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2017 Inaugural Luncheon

President: Donald J. Trump

Vice President: Michael R. Pence


Verdict of the People, 1854-1855
by George Caleb Bingham
Oil on canvas, 1854-1855
Courtesy of the Saint Louis Art Museum, Gift of Bank of America


Verdict of the People (1854–1855) is one of three works by George Caleb Bingham that compose the Election Series. Along with Stump Speaking and County Election, the three paintings present the course of democratic elections. Bingham wanted to visually record the cultural tensions at play in American democracy in the 1850s. The painting depicts a chaotic street scene just as a clerk calls out the election results. Bingham’s electorate is one of inclusiveness. Everyone is present, including the well-to-do farmers, laborers, merchants, westerners, kids, politicians, immigrants, veterans, women, and African Americans. Their reactions span a wide range of emotions—individuals are portrayed as elated, dejected, confounded, argumentative, jovial, and intensely serious.

Bingham (1811–1879) was born in Virginia and raised in Franklin, Missouri. By 1838, he was well known in St. Louis for his portraits and for his paintings of American life in the frontier lands along the Missouri River. The painting, displayed above the head table, was loaned by the Saint Louis Art Museum.