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Accession Number 1959.001
Catalog Number 1959.001.001
Object Name Painting
Title Wilbur and Orville Wright and their Accomplishments painting
Description The painting shows the Wright brothers in the foreground; Orville (with the moustache) is seated in a chair and Wilbur is perched on the edge of a cluttered table. Also shown are their penciled notes and experimental equipment, including the wind tunnel with which they developed their aerodynamic formulas. In the background is the scene of the first flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, and in the upper left is the granite monument on Kill Devil Hill, North Carolina,which commemorates the first successful, sustained, powered flights in a heavier-than-air machine. In the right background is the Wrights' Dayton, Ohio, boyhood home. At left is the famous airplane which Wilbur and Orville built and delivered to the Army Signal Corps in 1909.
Date 1959
Artist Mutchler, Dwight, 1903-1976
Dimensions H-9 W-12 feet
Notes The Wright brothers, Orville (1871-1948) and Wilbur (1867-1912) were two American brothers, inventors, and aviation pioneers who were credited with inventing and building the world's first successful airplane and making the first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air-human flight on December 17, 1903. From 1905 to 1907, the brothers developed their flying machine into the first practical fixed-wing aircraft. Although not the first to build and fly experimental aircraft, the Wright brothers were the first to invent aircraft controls that made fixed-wing powered flight possible.
People Wright, Orville, 1871-1948
Wright, Wilbur, 1867-1912
Signed Name Dwight Mutchler 1959
Sig Loc Lower right
Frame size 9 feet by 12 feet
Frame desc Later frame of milled and fluted cove-molded wood, accented with gilded ribbon, the liner with rope-twisted carved detai
Material Canvas/Paint
Provenance In May 1957, the 102nd Ohio General Assembly ordered a painting that was to be "representative of the Wright brothers and their accomplishments." The enabling legislation authorized the Department of Public works to assign the project to the Ohio Historical Society. The act further states:

"The painting in size and technique shall be comparable to the painting of Thomas Edison [Dawn of a New Light] presently exhibited in the north corridor of the state capitol building. The painting is to be executed, preferably by an Ohio artist, and shall be placed in a prominent position in the state capitol."

The Ohio Historical Society invited all Ohio painters (whether they lived in the state or elsewhere), to enter a competition for the $15,000 commission. A screening committee of five Ohioan musem directors scrutinized works from more than 50 artists and selected six to submit small oil paintings depicting their conception of the theme.

The Board of Trustees of the Ohio Historical Society viewed the work of the six painters on October 11, 1958 and awarded the commission to Dwight Mutchler of Athens, Ohio.

The painting was unveiled in December 1959 and remained in place for only a few years until it was taken down during the 1964 Statehouse restoration. It was stored at the Ohio Historical Society until it was conserved and returned to the Statehouse in 2003 for the 100-year anniversary of the Wright brothers' first flight.

The Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board took over the care of the Statehouse and its collections in 1988.
Subjects Aviation
Collection Statehouse Artwork Collection