The Augustus Tack murals in the Governor's Suite were painted in New York City on canvas then brought here to Nebraska and applied to walls. Tack was the first artist commissioned (hired) to paint murals for the Capitol. His murals were in place in 1927, before the rest of the building was complete. Tack himself came to Nebraska to supervise as the murals were applied to the walls. The canvas was attached with a mixture of white lead and varnish, which then served as a barrier between the painted canvas and any moisture that might penetrate the wall.
In the ceiling murals of the Governor’s Suite the artist changed his colors to represent different ideas. The murals and figures on the side represent real activities of Nebraskans, and are painted in primary colors. At the top, the figures of agriculture and industry, which are concepts, are painted in pastel colors. This change in color scheme also helps make the vaulted ceiling seem to float above the room. Can you figure out what all the activities and concepts here are? Try painting a picture where real activities use stronger colors and ideas the people in your picture are thinking use softer colors.
The artist of the ceiling murals, Augustus Vincent Tack, chose a gothic (from Europe around the year 1400) style of dress to portray citizens. Tack decided not to use modern clothing so that the figures would appear timeless and never go out of style.
Have you seen this style of clothing before?
What does it say to you about the people wearing it?