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Wisconsin State Capitol Governor's Conference Room

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*  Governor's Conference Room Fascinating Fact
This is the Governor's Conference Room and is located on the first floor of the east wing. The Governor uses this room for press conferences, bill signings, cabinet meetings and receptions.

The Governor's Conference Room is designed in the Venetian Renaissance style and was inspired by the beautiful small council chambers in the Doge's Palace in Venice. Of all the rooms in the State Capitol, the Governor's Conference Room is decorated with the most 22-karet gold leaf. The walls are cherry wood paneling. The floor is parquet of four woods teak, mahogany, quartersawn oak and primavera. The floor to ceiling fireplace is hand carved out of Italian marble. It is one of five fireplaces in the State Capitol and was last used in the 1930s.

The ceiling and mural paintings were done by an American artist from New York named Hugo Ballin for a cost of $25,000. The ceiling paintings are symbolic and represent ideas such as Wisconsin's beauty, strength, patriotism, labor commerce, agriculture and horticulture. The wall murals are decorative paintings illustrating important people, places and events in Wisconsin's history. All the paintings in the Governor's Conference Room were done by Hugo Ballin of New York.

A specific point of interest on the ceiling is the circular mural in the center of the ceiling, which represents "Wisconsin surrounded by her Attributes, Beauty, Strength, Patriotism, Labor, Commerce, Agriculture and Horticulture". The young woman in the center of the painting symbolizes the beauty of the State. Subjects of other ceiling panels include "Pioneering", "Charity", Invention", "Justice", "Religious Tolerance", and "Art" and two semi-lunettes above the clock symbolize "War" and "Peace".

There are many beautiful and interesting wall paintings in the Governor's Conference Room. All of these wall murals depict important events in Wisconsin history, such as "The Landing of the First White Man, Jean Nicolet, in the State, then a French Territory, in 1634" (located on the left as you enter into the room) and "The Closing Scene of the Winnebago War in 1827" (located on the right as you enter into the room). The Winnebago War painting illustrates Red Bird, Chief of the tribe, surrendering to Major Whisler near what is now Portage. In the left corner of the east wall is "Wisconsin's First Capitol at Belmont" as it appeared in 1836. In the right corner of the east wall is "Wisconsin's Capitol" which occupied the site of the present Capitol prior to the 1904 fire. It is also interesting to note that signs of the Zodiac can be found in the Governor's Conference Room, in the narrow spaces at the entrance, under the clock.

Elmer Garnsey, who also designed the Assembly Chambers decorations, designed the interior decorations in the Governor's Conference Room. The original French walnut furniture in the Governor's Conference Room include the "Great Wisconsin" table, eight high-back chairs, sofas and benches are also original to the room and were purchased in 1910 for $4,081.