The Senate Lounge

A large room located at the end of the third floor on the east side of the Capitol, the Senate Lounge is decorated with carved oak finishes throughout. The room was designed by Charles Rinschede and the ceiling was the work of A. Flood of Kansas City, Mo.

Tapestries
The Senate Lounge features rich tapestries mounted into panels on the walls. The tapestries were designed by Mr. Lorenz Kleiser, and woven by Edgewater Tapestry Looms, Edgewater, New Jersey. The tapestries were installed in the Senate Lounge in 1927.

Four workmen required months to complete one of the panels located on the walls of the lounge. Designed by full-sized color drawing, workers used yarns of various hues to weave and knot the design. Although slow and laborious, workers used wool that was washed and dyed by a special process — elements that are compared to those that were used in some of the best Oriental rugs at the time.

The tapestries underwent a minor restoration in 1972, but due to sunlight fading the threads and the strain on the tapestries from hanging over the years, an additional restoration was performed in 2005. The tapestries were removed and cleaned, and many worn or frayed threads were painstakingly replaced. In addition, the edges were strengthened and placed on new mounting frames to facilitate future restorative projects.

Several panels include facets of Missouri’s industry, past and present, including agriculture, zinc mining and lumber trade. The River Traffic panel highlights in the foreground a man of pioneer days plowing with his oxen, while in the middle, a steamboat winds its way down the Missouri River. The Sante Fe Trail tapestry portrays the slow passenger service of the state and the covered wagon with a group of hunters in the foreground resting before a camp fire. The Fur Trade panel features a log cabin and a hunter skinning a deer that is fastened by its hocks to a tree. In the background, some Native Americans are engaged in the chase. The Lead Mining tapestry gives a view of the early Frenchmen with a homemade device used to hoist material from a prospect hole looking for lead nuggets – Missouri’s most primitive commerce.

The six smaller spaces depict, in well-balanced design, the flintlock and powder horn; the candle lantern with pick and shovel; the agriculturist’s scythe and fork; and the anchor and steering wheel of a river steamboat. The borders of all these panels are formed of the various wild flowers of the state.

 


Click here to view the work performed on the tapestries during the 2005 restoration.

Portraits
Three portraits are mounted between the four windows that line the east side of the room. Each portrait highlights a member of the Missouri Senate who set his individual mark upon the upper chamber of the General Assembly.

Sen. Clifford Jones’ portrait was donated by Senate leadership on April 29, 1988, on his retirement after 32 years of service in the Missouri Legislature.

Sen. Michael Kinney’s portrait was presented in tribute to his 56 years of service in the Missouri Senate.

Sen. Richard M. Webster’s portrait was donated by Senate leadership on May 10, 1990, in his memory after his death on March 4, 1990, while serving his 34th year in the Missouri Legislature.