EV HISTORY CENTER: Glimpses of Iowa’s Capitol

State Capitol Dome.

You are invited to join former state restoration painter, Rosa Snyder, as she divulges untold stories and reveals hidden treasures of Iowa’s most recognized landmark. On Sunday, April 24th, she will present “Glimpses of Iowa’s Capitol” at the EV History Center at 108 N Main Street in North English.

When the building in Des Moines was constructed back in the 1870s-1880s, almost every one of the 120 rooms was decorated with intricate designs on the ceilings and walls. Over time, many of the motifs were covered with paint. Starting in the 1980s, it was decided to uncover and recreate these elaborate designs. During this presentation, several aspects of restoration will be explained in detail: the discovery process, necessary
tools, varieties of paints, types of gold leaf, and different step-by-step application techniques.
Additionally, a number of before and after photos of several rooms will be revealed and photos of one-of-a-kind artwork created by well-known artists will be shared.

The audience will learn about little known historical facts and view photographs of areas not normally seen by visitors.

Rosa Snyder is a graduate of Iowa State University with degrees in child development, art education, and interior design with additional history courses from Drake University and Iowa Wesleyan College. She taught art in Ames, Iowa, and worked as a design consultant and artist for the Meredith and Hearst Publishing Companies. In addition, she did design work for several area churches, commercial enterprises, and private residences. After receiving an apprenticeship grant from the Iowa Arts Council, Rosa was hired as a state restoration painter, scaled 20- foot scaffolds in white bib overalls, and helped re-create the intricate designs hidden under layers of paint on the ceilings and walls of Iowa’s State Capitol. Rosa is the only woman in the history of the building hired for this position.

The English Valleys History Center has received funding from Humanities Iowa, a private, non-profit state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, to host this presentation by Rosa Snyder at 2:00 p.m., Sunday, April 24, at the EV History Center at 108 N. Main, North English, Iowa. All are invited to attend at no charge. Donations are accepted.

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