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Vice Presidential Bust Collection

Henry Wilson

In November of 1875 the Senate's presiding officer, Vice President Henry Wilson, was struck by paralysis and carried to his office in the Capitol. For 12 days, Wilson received visitors from his sick bed in the vice president's room, and there he died on November 22. A decade later, to honor its respected colleague, the Senate commissioned noted sculptor Daniel Chester French to create a marble bust of Wilson. With completion of the Wilson bust, which still stands in the vice president's office, the Senate decided to honor all vice presidents for their constitutional role as the President of the Senate by commissioning additional portrait busts. Today, the Senate's oldest art collection includes marble portraits of every vice president from John Adams to Dan Quayle, with busts of recent vice presidents Albert Gore and Richard Cheney under commission.