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Murals: Liberty and Prosperity, Washington, Electricity, Education, The Stone Industry, Agriculture,

  • 125 W. State St.
  • Trenton, NJ 08608
  • Artwork Creator: William Brantley Van Ingen; decorations by Stephens, Cooper and Company
  • Hours: Hourly Tours, Monday through Friday, 10am - 3 pm & 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month, 12pm - 3pm. Closed Sundays and State holidays.
  • Access: Open to public. Groups of 10 or more must have advanced reservations.
  • Image Source: View Image Source
  • Sponsor/Project: n/a
  • Project Date: 1903

“Washington's troops fought more battles in New Jersey than anywhere else. Artist William Brantley Van Ingen designed sixteen symbolic murals for the Senate Chamber to celebrate New Jersey's hard won freedom and prosperity. Scenes include the Revolutionary War battles of Trenton, Princeton, and Monmouth, as well as important industries, such as building construction, glass making, agriculture and ceramics.” – New Jersey State Legislative Services

“A contract for the extant mural decorations, submitted by the architect and artist W.B. Van Ingen, was awarded to the Stephens, Cooper and company on July 9, 1903 during a meeting of the State House Commission . . . Almost one year later, Governor Murphy, State Treasurer Briggs, and other state officials were on hand to examine the completed murals . . . The paintings are sixteen in number and occupy arched spaces made for them in the vaulting of the ceiling. They extend entirely around the room and present a historical and emblematic panorama of the state’s progress . . . The central picture over the president’s desk represents ‘Liberty and Prosperity,’ and the others are entitled ‘Washington,’ ‘Electricity,’ ‘Education,’ ‘The Stone Industry,’ ‘Agriculture,’ ‘The Battle of Monmouth,’ ‘Machinery,’ ‘Lexington,’ ‘Commerce,’ ‘The Battle of Trenton,’ ‘The Battle of Princeton,’ ‘The Silk Industry,’ ‘the Pottery Industry,’ ‘Building’ and ‘The Glass Industry.’” – The Daily True American

“The motive for the paintings was taken from the supporting figures of the coat of arms of the State – Liberty and Abundance. These two figures are placed in the panel directly over the President’s chair. The other panels represent the causes of Liberty and Abundance. Since Liberty was brought about by the Revolutionary War, four of the panels are representative of events of that period – the battles of Trenton, Princeton, Monmouth and Morristown. The incidents depicted in all three being the death of General Mercer, Mollie Pitcher’s prowess and General Washington at Morristown . . . The abundance of the State is the result of the industry and activity of its people. The industries typified are: glass blowing, silk making, iron and steel, agriculture, terra cotta, pottery, commerce, two figures representing legislation, electricity shown capturing lightening, education with cap and gown, building with compass and steel frame construction in course of erection, and terra cotta work.” – John P. Dullard, assistant State Librarian, Letter dated May 4, 1917

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