If you’ve never been to the Miller Senate Building to watch or testify in committee hearings, you might not be aware that Annapolis is home to two of Maryland’s artistic treasures.
As you cross the threshold of the building, you walk over a marble mosaic of the Great Seal of Maryland. The marble is from Virginia.
The Seal dates back to Maryland’s founding as a colony in 1634. Like the state flag, it features a shield bearing the colors of the the Calvert and Crossland families. The two men holding the shield represent Lord Baltimore’s two estates in the new world. The Farmer represents Maryland and the fisherman represents Avalon in Newfoundland. Though it could just as easily represent life on the Chesapeake Bay.
To this day, the imprint of the Great Seal is required to authenticate all acts of the General Assembly.
As you stand on the seal, if you were to look up, you would find yourself under an amazing glass dome.
The dome was created in 1903 by Tiffany Glass & Decorating Co. It’s twenty feet in diameter. Oddly this dome has moved multiple times in its life, installed for a time in the Joint Hearing Room. It returned to the Miller Office Building in 2000.
There are also five Tiffany skylights in the State House, as well as two windows in the Joint Hearing Room which bear the Great Seal.
The next time you’re in Annapolis, don’t just visit the harbor and the Naval Academy. Make sure to check out some of the works of art in and around the State House.