ALERT: Dome Restoration Project Necessitates Rotunda Closure April 12 through April 28.
Click here for more information.

New Additions to the Capitol Collection

The Capitol continues to grow and change. So does its art collection. Following a time-honored tradition, Congress commissioned a number of new works. The sculptor Lee Lawrie completed three plaques, Courage, Patriotism, and Wisdom for the Senate Chamber redecoration. Allyn Cox designed murals and decorations for the first-floor House corridors, and various sculptors produced 23 relief portraits of notable lawgivers for the redesigned House Chamber.

Capitol Hill’s first nonrepresentational sculpture, Alexander Calder’s Mountains and Clouds, was installed in the Hart Senate Office Building (1985–1986). This period also brought a new appreciation for historic works of art—and heightened concern for their proper care. A 1981 survey assessed the condition of the Capitol’s murals. Three years later, Congress began to allocate funds for their gradual conservation and restoration.

  • Courage, by Lee Lawrie, 1950

    This plaque and companion ones, entitled Patriotism and Wisdom, were made for the newly remodeled Senate Chamber.

    Collection of the U.S. Senate

  • Artist Allyn Cox painting a ceiling mural in a first-floor House corridor, 1973.

    Artist Allyn Cox painting a ceiling mural in a first-floor House corridor, 1973.

    Architect of the Capitol

  • Conservators cleaning and restoring portions of Brumidi’s frescoed frieze in the rotunda, 1986.

    Conservators cleaning and restoring portions of Brumidi’s frescoed frieze in the rotunda, 1986.

    Architect of the Capitol

  • Mountains and Clouds, by Alexander Calder, 1985

    The largest—and most modern—work of art on Capitol Hill is located in the Hart Senate Office Building atrium.

    Collection of the U.S. Senate; photo courtesy of the Architect of the Capitol

  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., by John Wilson, 1986

    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., by John Wilson, 1986

    Architect of the Capitol