National Statuary Hall Collection
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National Statuary Hall Collection
Part of the National Statuary Hall Collection.
Presiding over the Hall, Carlo Franzoni's 1819 sculptural chariot clock, the Car of History depicting Clio, the Greek muse of history.

The National Statuary Hall Collection in the United States Capitol is composed of statues donated by individual states to honor persons notable in their history. Limited to two statues per-state, the collection was originally set up in the old Hall of the House of Representatives, which was then renamed National Statuary Hall. The expanding collection has since been spread throughout the Capitol.

With the addition of New Mexico's second statue in 2005, the collection is now complete with 100 statues contributed by 50 states. Alabama, Arizona, California, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, and Ohio have each replaced one of their first two statues after Congress authorized replacements.


The concept of a National Statuary Hall originated in the middle of the nineteenth century, before the completion of the present House wing in 1857. At that time, the House of Representatives moved into its new larger chamber and the old vacant chamber became a thoroughfare between the Rotunda and the House wing. Suggestions for the use of the chamber were made as early as 1853 by Gouverneur Kemble, a former member of the House, who pressed for its use as a gallery of historical paintings. The space between the columns seemed too limited for this purpose, but it was well suited for the display of busts and statuary.

Sculptor Cliff Fragua, right, poses at the unveiling and dedication of the Po'pay statue in September 2005. The statue is the 100th in the collection.

On April 19, 1864, Representative Justin S. Morrill asked: "To what end more useful or grand, and at the same time simple and inexpensive, can we devote it [the Chamber] than to ordain that it shall be set apart for the reception of such statuary as each State shall elect to be deserving of in this lasting commemoration?" His proposal to create a National Statuary Hall became law on July 2, 1864:

[...] the President is hereby authorized to invite each and all the States to provide and furnish statues, in marble or bronze, not exceeding two in number for each State, of deceased persons who have been citizens thereof, and illustrious for their historic renown or for distinguished civic or military services such as each State may deem to be worthy of this national commemoration; and when so furnished the same shall be placed in the Old Hall of the House of Representatives, in the Capitol of the United States, which is set apart, or so much thereof as may be necessary, as a national statuary hall for the purpose herein indicated.

Originally, all state statues were placed in National Statuary Hall. However, the aesthetic appearance of the Hall began to suffer from overcrowding until, in 1933, the situation became unbearable. At that time the Hall held 65 statues, which stood, in some cases, three deep. More important, the structure of the chamber would not support the weight of any more statues. Therefore, in 1933 Congress passed a resolution that:

the Architect of the Capitol, upon the approval of the Joint Committee on the Library, with the advice of the Commission of Fine Arts, is hereby authorized and directed to relocate within the Capitol any of the statues already received and placed in Statuary Hall, and to provide for the reception and location of the statues received hereafter from the States.

Under authority of this resolution it was decided that only one statue from each state should be placed in Statuary Hall. The others would be given prominent locations in designated areas and corridors of the Capitol. A second rearrangement of the statues was made in 1976 by authorization of the Joint Committee on the Library. To improve the crowded appearance of the collection, thirty-eight statues were rearranged in Statuary Hall according to height and material. Statues representing ten of the thirteen original colonies were moved to the Central Hall of the East Front Extension on the first floor of the Capitol. The remainder of the statues were distributed throughout the Capitol, mainly in the Hall of Columns and the connecting corridors of the House and Senate wings. Legislation was introduced in 2005 that would authorize the collection to include one statue from each U.S. Territory, and another bill introduced in 2010 provides for participation by the District of Columbia. Neither passed.

Each statue is the gift of a state, not of an individual or group of citizens. Proceedings for the donation of a statue usually begin in the state legislature with the enactment of a resolution that names the citizen to be commemorated and cites his or her qualifications, specifies a committee or commission to represent the state in selecting the sculptor, and provides for a method of obtaining the necessary funds to carry the resolution into effect. In recent years, the statues have been unveiled during ceremonies in the Rotunda and displayed there for up to six months. They are then moved to a permanent location approved by the Joint Committee on the Library. An act of Congress (2 U.S.C. § 2132), enacted in 2000, permits states to provide replacements and repossess the earlier one.

A special act of Congress, Pub.L. 109-116, signed on December 1, 2005, directed the Joint Committee on the Library to obtain a statue of Rosa Parks and to place the statue in the United States Capitol in National Statuary Hall in a suitable permanent location. On February 27, 2013, Parks became the first African American woman to have her likeness in the Hall.[1] Though located in Statuary Hall, Parks' statue is not part of the Collection; neither Alabama (her birth state) nor Michigan (where she lived most of her later years) commissioned it, and both states are represented in the Collection by other statues.



The collection currently includes representations of nine women:[2]Frances E. Willard, the first statue of a woman in the collection, was also sculpted by a woman, Helen Farnsworth Mears;[3]Helen Keller; Florence Sabin; Maria Sanford; Jeannette Rankin, the first woman elected to the House and, famously, the only Member of Congress to vote against U.S. entry into both World Wars; Sakakewa and Sarah Winnemucca, two of the six American Indians in the collection; Mother Joseph, a native of Canada; and Esther Hobart Morris.

Non-White and Hispanic members

The vast majority of the collection is of White men, but it includes statues of Native Hawaiian Kamehameha I, six American Indians - Po'pay, Will Rogers, Sequoyah, Sakakawea, Washakie, and Sarah Winnemucca - and Dennis Chávez, the first person of Hispanic descent to be elected to a full term in the U.S. Senate. Junípero Serra was born in Spain.


The collection contains several statues of leaders of the Confederate States of America. These include CSA President Jefferson Davis and Vice President Alexander Stephens and generals, most in Confederate Army uniforms - Robert E. Lee, Joseph Wheeler, James Z. George, Wade Hampton III, and Edmund Kirby Smith - as well as army officer Zebulon Baird Vance and private soldier John E. Kenna. Alabama replaced its statue of Confederate politician and army officer Jabez Curry in 2009. Florida approved plans to replace Edmund Kirby Smith in 2016 with a person yet to be determined. The 2018 Florida legislature is expected to approve Mary McLeod Bethune as the replacement.[4]


State Gifts

Other statues of people

Other statues under the control of the Architect of the Capitol[5]

Honoree Image Medium Sculptor Date placed Location Comment
Abraham Lincoln Marble Vinnie Ream 1871 Rotunda
Alexander Hamilton Marble Horatio Stone 1868 Rotunda
Martin Luther King Jr. Bronze John Woodrow Wilson 1986 Rotunda
Edward Dickinson Baker Marble Horatio Stone 1876 Hall of Columns
Sojourner Truth Bronze Artis Lane 2009 Capitol Visitor Center
James Madison Marble Walker K. Hancock 1976 James Madison Memorial Building
Portrait Monument to Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony Marble Adelaide Johnson 1920 Rotunda
Thomas Jefferson Bronze Pierre-Jean David d'Angers 1834 Rotunda
Ulysses S. Grant Marble Franklin Simmons 1899 Rotunda
Rosa Parks Bronze Eugene Daub 2013 National Statuary Hall
Frederick Douglass Bronze Steven Weitzman 2013 Capitol Visitor Center approved by P.L. 112-179 in 2012 as a gift from the District of Columbia[6]

Allegorical or mythical sculptures

Sculpture under the control of the Architect of the Capitol

Title Image Medium Sculptor Date placed Location Comment
Car of History Marble Carlo Franzoni 1819 National Statuary Hall depicts Clio, the muse of history
Liberty and the Eagle Plaster Enrico Causici 1817-19 National Statuary Hall
Statue of Freedom Bronze Thomas Crawford 1863 top of dome
The Progress of Civilization[7] Marble Thomas Crawford 1863 Pediment over Senate Portico, East Front
Apotheosis of Democracy[8] Marble Paul Wayland Bartlett 1916 Pediment, East Front Figures of Peace protecting Genius surrounded by scenes depicting Industry and Agriculture
Genius of America (1) Sandstone Luigi Persico 1825-1828 East Central Entrance America with Justice and Hope, duplicated and replaced by Genius of America (2)
Genius of America (2) Marble Bruno Mankowski 1959-1960 East Central Entrance duplicate in marble of Genius of America (1)
Fame and Peace Crowning George Washington (1) Sandstone Antonio Capellano 1827 East central portico, above the Rotunda doors duplicated and replaced by Fame and Peace ... (2)
Fame and Peace Crowning George Washington (2) Marble G. Gianetti 1959-1960 East central portico, above the Rotunda doors duplicate in marble of Fame and Peace ... (1)
Justice and History[9] Marble Thomas Crawford 1863 East Front

Replacement of statues

A 2003 change in the law allows a state to remove a previously placed statue from the collection and replace it with another. Since this change, seven states have replaced statues, with two of those states considering replacing a second statue; one other is in the process of replacing a statue; one other is considering a motion for replacement.


Replacement pending

  • North Carolina: On October 2, 2015, North Carolina governor Pat McCrory signed a bill requesting to replace the statue of Charles Aycock with one of Reverend Billy Graham.[21] However, as legislation governing donation and replacement of statues states they must represent deceased individuals and Reverend Graham did not die until February 2018, the statue may not be in place for several years.[22]

Under consideration for replacement

  • California: Having already replaced one of its statues, as of June 2015, California was considering replacing its statue of Junipero Serra with one of astronaut Sally Ride.[23]


  1. ^ "Rosa Parks: First Statue of African-American Female to Grace Capitol". ABC News. Retrieved 2013. 
  2. ^ Equal Visibility Everywhere blog post
  3. ^ AOC page
  4. ^ Committee on Rules, Florida Senate (January 9, 2018). "Senate Bill 472 Analysis" (PDF). Retrieved 2018. 
  5. ^ "Other Statues". Architect of the Capitol, United States Capitol. Retrieved 2017. 
  6. ^ "Public Law 112-179" (PDF). United States Congress. Retrieved 2017. 
  7. ^ Architect of the Capitol Under the Direction of the Joint Committee on the Library, Compilation of Works of Art and Other Objects in the United States Capitol, United States Government Printing Office, Washington 1965 p. 380
  8. ^ Architect of the Capitol 1965, p. 379.
  9. ^ Architect of the Capitol 1965, p. 366.
  10. ^ Theobald, Bill (February 11, 2015). "Goldwater statue dedicated in National Statuary Hall". The Arizona Republic. Phoenix. Retrieved 2015. 
  11. ^ Cheevers, Jack (29 May 2009). "Thomas Starr King deserves better". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved . 
  12. ^ Doering, Christopher (26 March 2014). "Norman Borlaug enters U.S. Capital's Statuary Hall". The Des Moines Register. Retrieved . 
  13. ^ Henderson, O. Kay (9 April 2013). "Harlan statue will move from U.S. Capitol to Mt. Pleasant". Iowa Public Radio. Retrieved . 
  14. ^ Holland, Judy (29 March 2008). "Capitol statues switched as subjects' fame fades". Star Tribune. Minneapolis: Retrieved . [permanent dead link]
  15. ^ Simon, Richard (10 September 2011). "Zachariah who? States swap out statues in Capitol hall of fame". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved . 
  16. ^ Camia, Catalina (3 May 2011). "Gerald Ford honored with statue in U.S. Capitol". USA Today. Retrieved . 
  17. ^ "Statue swap: Zachariah Chandler comes home to Michigan as Gerald R. Ford heads to U.S. Capitol". The Grand Rapids Press. Associated Press. 22 April 2011. Retrieved . 
  18. ^ "History". Ohio Statuary Hall Commission. Retrieved . In 2012, the 129th Ohio General Assembly and Governor Kasich formalized the public vote to replace Allen with Thomas Edison through passage of HB 487 (section 701.121). 
  19. ^ "Panel recommends Thomas Edison statue go in U.S. Capitol". The Plain Dealer. Cleveland: Associated Press. 26 August 2010. Retrieved . 
  20. ^ Wehrman, Jessica (September 21, 2016). "Thomas Edison statue dedicated in U.S. Capitol's Statuary Hall". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 2017. 
  21. ^ "Governor McCrory Signs Bill Requesting Statue of Billy Graham be Placed in U.S. Capitol" (Press release). North Carolina Office of the Governor. 2015-10-07. Retrieved 2015. 
  22. ^ "Procedure and Guidelines for Replacement of Statues in the National Statuary Hall Collection" (PDF). Architect of the Capitol. January 2014. Retrieved . 
  23. ^ McGreevy, Patrick (April 13, 2015). "State Senate calls for swapping Father Serra statue with one of Sally Ride". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2015. 
    Finley, Allysia (4 June 2014). "The Political Assault on California's Saint". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2015. The state Assembly and Gov. Brown would still need to OK the statue swap, which doesn't appear to be a legislative priority for either. 
  24. ^ Biles, Jan (12 March 2011). "Amelia's monument about to take flight". The Topeka Capital-Journal. Retrieved . 
  25. ^ Committee on Rules, Florida Senate (January 9, 2018). "Senate Bill 472 Analysis" (PDF). Retrieved 2018. 

External links

Coordinates: 38°53?23?N 77°00?32?W / 38.88972°N 77.00889°W / 38.88972; -77.00889

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