Art displayed at the U.S. Capitol includes a bust of Abraham Lincoln, a painting of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and soon, a piece of Hannibal fan art from a high school student. As The New York Times reports, the work inspired by the cult television series will hang inside the historic building after winning the annual Congressional Art Competition.
Each year, panels of artists and participating members of the U.S. House of Representatives judge visual art submitted by high school students. On Thursday, May 20, New Jersey Representative Andy Kim announced the winner from his district. Shawnee High School senior Allistair Palmer, who is non-binary and uses they and them pronouns, rose above the competition with their painting Dolce, which depicts two men (one writing in a notebook and one with antlers) in a Cubist style. Fans of The Silence of the Lambs spinoff quickly identified the men as the characters Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter from the show.
Kim was unaware of the painting's pop culture connection when he selected it. “I just thought it was really beautiful, well executed, and it was really striking,” he said, per the Times.
Hannibal first aired on NBC in 2013 and was canceled after three seasons. Despite its brief run, the show has maintained a devoted fan base (known as "Fannibals"). Now the series and its fandom will receive official recognition from the United States government.
Palmer's Dolce will be displayed in a tunnel between the House of Representatives and a congressional office building along with the other winners of the competition. Its prominent spot at the Capitol will be one of the most exciting things to ever happen to the Hannibal community—unless a revival is announced.
[h/t The New York Times]
This story has been updated to note that the chosen artist, Kathleen Palmer, is non-binary and goes by the chosen name Allistair.