In 1961, legendary director Otto Preminger came to Capitol Hill to film a classic story about the U.S. Senate, Advise and Consent. During the filming of the movie, freelance artist Lily Spandorf was sent by the Washington Star newspaper to make a few pen and ink illustrations of the production. Although she quickly obtained the images she needed, she continued her work throughout the movie's Washington filming, creating 68 pen-and-ink and two gouache (watercolor) illustrations. Her work attracted the attention of Preminger, and at his request selections of her sketches were exhibited at the movie's premiere.
The movie was an adaptation of Allen Drury's 1959 Pulitzer Prize winning novel of the same name, which explored Washington politics through a controversial cabinet nomination set against the background of the Cold War. The title comes from Article II, section 2 of the U.S. Constitution. That section gives the Senate the responsibility to advise the president on cabinet nominees, and the authority to consent to (approve or reject) those nominations.