A few weeks ago I toured the Missouri Mansion in Jefferson City, Missouri with a group of people at the capital city to promote our region to our state legislators.
It’s a gorgeous building with really beautiful, historic furniture and decor.
The building was built in the 1870s in an apsidal shape — meaning it’s a rectangle with two semicircles on either end. The apsidal shape is carried through the decor and furniture in the home.
The home is full of official portraits of first ladies of Missouri, and I enjoyed the stories the docents told about the unique personalities of first ladies and the way those personalities were reflected in their official portrait.
It’s impressive that more than a century worth of portraits suit the home so well. Most first ladies have chosen a classical Victorian-style portrait, so I suppose that makes it easier. It’s also the choice of the first lady where her portrait will hang in the house, so I would imagine they commission them with the space in mind.
The mansion does a great job of blending new elements and furniture in with the old style of the house. The dining room table, for example, actually has modern chairs around it that fit the style of the era the home was built.
The harp — also a modern gift — fits so beautifully in front of the piano under the grand staircase, it seems as though the area needed a harp all along.
Some furniture is even repurposed (kind of). The sample size furniture is staged as a children’s sitting area in the green room to the left of the main entrance.
I enjoy touring historic homes in general. It’s easy to forget that Victorian decor relied on a few very ornate pieces but floor space was very open and protected from clutter in most of the rooms.