September 23, 2014

New State Capitol ornament unveiled

2012 Wisconsin State Capitol Ornament

This is the ninth official holiday ornament, the first was in 2004. Cate Zeuske (zeye-skee), former Wisconsin State Treasurer, says it’s a nice keepsake. “We’ve ordered 2,100 of them this year, that’s slightly higher than normal. We usually order 2,000, but because it’s actually quite a significant replica, we are optimistic that we will sell them.”

The limited edition ornament features a replica of the glass mosaic called “Liberty,” which is one of four such mosaics in the dome of the state Capitol rotunda. The others are “Legislation,” “Government,” and “Justice.”

The cost of the Capitol collectable is $16 and the proceeds benefit the State Capitol Restoration Fund. “You may remember that when the Capitol was renovated in the 1990s, at that time a fund was created — much like the executive residence fund.” Zeuske says it’s a great way for people to donate to the restoration fund without having to use public tax money.”

Large Liberty mosaic in Capitol dome, consisting of approximately 100,000 pieces of glass tile. (Zoom in to see tiles. PHOTO: Jackie Johnson)

This ornament design coincides with the 100 anniversary of the actual Liberty mosaic under the dome in the statehouse, which is made with approximately 100,000 glass tiles. The decoration comes with a little history of the mosaic.

The Capitol keepsake is made in America — by the Chem Art company of Rhode Island. That company also produces the annual White House ornament.

The 2012 State Capitol ornament will sell for $16. Zeuske doesn’t have the exact number, but last year had said that accumulative sales had generated over $50,000 for the Capitol Restoration Fund.

The ornament is available for purchase at the state Capitol gift shop, the Wisconsin State Historical Society Gift Shop and online store, the Wisconsin State Capitol information desk in the rotunda and the Wisconsin State Veterans Museum. It’s also available at various businesses in Madison. Zeuske says there are also a few ornaments remaining from previous years (2005, 2006, 2009, 2011).

AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report 1:42