Capitol Portraits: Ali James

Our Sounds to Texas series features the tales of people from all over the state, some from far-flung places in the Lone State state and others from our own backyards.

By Joy DiazFebruary 19, 2016 1:57 pm| ,

Ali James is the curator and director of visitor services at the Texas Capitol.

“Right now we’re standing in the Capitol Rotunda,” she says. “It’s probably one of the most visited areas in the Texas Capitol because we have portrait area featuring the Presidents of the Republic of Texas and the governors of the state of Texas.”

Two former Texas governors have two portraits, because they both served non-consecutive terms: Gov. Bill Clements, who served from 1979 to 1983 and again from 1987 to 1991, and Gov. Ma Ferguson, who served from 1925 to 1927, and again from 1932 to 1935.

James says the last time the portraits were moved was in 2002. They cleaned and inspected all the portraits before shifting each one space to the left to make room for the newest portrait, of Gov. Rick Perry.

“When the Perry portrait is hung, we’ll be up to lucky number 52,” she says.