The vice president of the United States presides over the United States Senate, and the Senate honors these individuals in a collection of marble busts displayed in the U.S. Capitol. The Architect of the Capitol is responsible for working with the subject to select a sculptor, contracting with the artists with the approval of the Senate, monitoring and approving the work, and designing and procuring the pedestal.
The role of the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) in the procurement of these busts involves working with the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, the subject (or, in the case of a deceased individual, the family), and the sculptor. Typically, the architect works with the subject to select a qualified sculptor; negotiates the contract with the sculptor; monitors the various stages of creating the bust, from models through final carving, suggesting changes where appropriate; and certifies satisfactory completion of the work. After the bust is completed and delivered to the Capitol and the Rules Committee has designated a permanent location, the Architect places the bust on its pedestal (provided by the AOC).
As established in Article I, Section 3 of the United States Constitution, the vice president of the United States serves as the president of the United States Senate. The Senate Resolution of January 6, 1898, as amended by Senate Resolution 100, 80th Congress, March 28, 1947, provides that "marble busts of those who have been Vice Presidents of the United States shall be placed in the Senate wing of the Capitol from time to time, [and] that the Architect of the Capitol is authorized, subject to the advice and approval of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, to carry into execution the object of this resolution . . ."
This Senate collection includes all of the vice presidents from the first, John Adams, through J. Danforth Quayle. Twenty of these busts are located in niches in the gallery of the Senate Chamber; one in the Vice President's formal office, room S-214; and the remainder in the second-floor corridors of the Senate wing adjacent to the chamber.
In the following list of busts, placement dates are given where known; if documentation does not indicate placement date, the year in which the bust was received is provided. For photos of the busts, please visit senate.gov