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Nebraska State Capitol

Lincoln, NE

Senate Chamber tapestry on wall over speaker's niche

Sun Dance, 1932

Commissioned by: Mayers, Murray & PhillipIconographer: Hartley Burr AlexanderArtistic Collaborator: Hartley Burr AlexanderMedium: woolExecuted by: Renou, Coulaz, Reisen

Sun Dance tapestry over speaker

Sun Dance tapestry over speaker's niche in Senate Chamber

In addition to her ceiling decoration for the Senate Chamber, in 1932 Hildreth Meière designed a tapestry in wool for the wall above the speaker’s niche.1

Meière had a sample tapestry woven of a Sun Dancer

Meière had a sample tapestry woven of a Sun Dancer

The tapestry represents the Sun Dance in a stylized variation of a 19th-century Sioux image.2 The Native American influence on Meière’s design can be seen in both the style and subject matter chosen.

Upon seeing how well Meière’s finished tapestry complemented the Native American theme of the ceiling in the Senate Chamber, Hartley Burr Alexander told her:

The tapestry is a grand success. It is stunning in effect, and a fair challenge to the ceiling itself.3
1

For a full discussion, see Catherine Coleman Brawer, Walls Speak: The Narrative Art of Hildreth Meière (St. Bonaventure, New York: St. Bonaventure University, 2009): 36-37.Meière also designed two tapestries for either side of the entrance to the senate chamber in a simple, large-scale, monochromatic grid.

2

See A Pictographic History of the Oglala Sioux (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1968): 97.

3

Alexander, letter to Meière, December 18, 1932, Hartley Burr Alexander Papers, Ella Strong Denison Library, Scripps College, Claremont, California.

Commission Location

Emblem

Nebraska State Capitol
1445 K Street
Lincoln, NE 68509

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