Grand Hall Chandelier
The magnificent, custom-made crystal chandelier was commissioned by the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion Commission in the spring of 2008 to add a finishing touch of elegance to the Grand Hall. As a work of art, the large-scale, mid-19th-century design of the chandelier incorporates candles of light and elements of traditional State symbolism on a hand-wrought steel frame with gold- and silver-leaf patina. It was designed by noted Little Rock interior designer Kaki Hockersmith and artistically fabricated by Thomas Grant Chandeliers of Dallas, Texas.
The 6.5-foot by 8.8-foot piece has a top corona of scrolling leaves and sprays, with above five large scrolling ribs to form an open “cage”-style chandelier. The ribs begin with a large “C” scroll with leaves at the top, then scroll downward to form the large central section, joined at the bottom with a basket banding. The banding contains 25 stars, symbolizing Arkansas’s admittance to the Union as the 25th state, as well as the 25 stars on our State flag. A further downward scrolling of five ribs completes the structure. These final ribs are joined with crystal beadwork lighted from behind. Loblolly pine cones, cast in metal and finished in a realistic brown patina, encircle and crown the top of the frame.
A focal point for the chandelier is created in the open center “cage.” Illuminated from below, a crystal vase containing branches of beaded apple blossoms and a honey bee, provides more symbolism of the State flower and insect. The entire chandelier is ornamented with diamond-shaped, lead crystal prisms and quartz prisms, representing the fact that Arkansas is the only diamond-producing state in North America. Two specimens of natural-cut Arkansas crystals are suspended from the chandelier. A large, hand-picked, and polished, clear quartz crystal prism is proudly suspended below. There is also a five-point, “golden-healer,” honey-quartz crystal prism hanging from the center top section.
Funding for the chandelier was provided by a grant from the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Commission (ANCRC) and through private donations.