The competition for the Great Hall art project was issued in 1986. Carved out of the original nineteenth-century light-well, the new meeting hall, as a contemporary space, was to be designed "in concert with, rather than re-creating, the surrounding Italian Renaissance revival spaces" of the Brigham extension. Prospective artists were encouraged to consider not only design and function, but also "the distinctive historic, symbolic and artistic character" of the State House.
New York artist Ronald Fischer was selected from 480 applicants in 1988. Best known for his mixed-media, functional, or utilitarian sculptures, Fischer's clock references traditional silhouettes from New England architecture: clock towers, cupolas, and domes, but with non-traditional materials. "Bird-cage" netting on the sides lightens the load both physically and visually.