Capitol Rotunda Muses

The eight muses have looked down on visitors to the State Capitol Building for over a century.

The Muse of Science

The Muse of Science: sits beneath a starlit sky with a telescope at her side-a reminder that science depends upon direct observation.

The Muse of Industry

The Muse of Industry: is surrounded by manufacturing symbols, including a hammer and anvil.

The Muse of Law and Government

The Muse of Law and Government: holds both a scale and a naked sword in her hands, representing the responsibility of law to impartially weigh the truth and to swiftly defend and uphold what is right.

The Muse of Commerce

The Muse of Commerce: appears against a backdrop of unfurled sails and ship's rigging. Symbolized by a winged headdress and carrying a staff with serpents, known as a caduceus, she evokes swift Hermes, Zeus's messenger, also regarded as the god of commerce, trade and the market.

The Muse of Education

The Muse of Education: sits next to a lamp, representing learning, which burns fiercely despite broad daylight. With one hand she steadies a ball which represents open-mindedness and lack of prejudice.

The Muse of Fine Arts and Architecture

The Muse of Fine Arts And Architecture: is easily understood even by the youngest audience.

The Muse of Philosophy

The Muse of Philosophy: sits enthroned on a monumental chair, holding a scepter in one hand, a symbol of power and dominion which may represent philosophy's overarching importance as the discipline whose inquiries underlie all knowledge, learning and human experience.

The Muse of Agriculture

The Muse of Agriculture: relaxes from her work with a shovel still in hand, surrounded by symbols of the seasons and fruits of the harvest.

Source: Michigan History Magazine (January/February 1999)