Due to a special event, on Wednesday, July 8, there will be no tours of the U.S. Capitol after 11 a.m. Emancipation Hall and Exhibition Hall in the Capitol Visitor Center will be unavailable all day. While reservations prior to 11 a.m. will be honored, same-day passes will not be available. The Capitol Visitor Center will close at noon except for individuals on official business and those going to the House and Senate Galleries.

Artistic Improvements

On the outside, the Capitol remained largely unchanged during this period. Inside, however, various artistic projects were undertaken to improve the Capitol's interior. In the rotunda, Constantino Brumidi began painting the 300-foot-long frieze in 1878 with scenes from American history. Sculpture was originally intended for the frieze, but Brumidi was able to achieve a similar effect with paint.

After the death of Vice President Henry Wilson in 1875, the Senate commissioned a bust of its deceased presiding officer (the vice president is President of the Senate), displaying it in the room where Wilson had died. This launched a program to commission busts of all former vice presidents for the Senate wing. The House, in a similar tribute to its history, began commissioning oil portraits of former Speakers in 1911.

History of Congress and the Capitol

The Capitol 1877-1913

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Statue of Abraham Lincoln, by...
Image Caption

Statue of Abraham Lincoln, by Vinnie Ream, 1870

When Congress commissioned this statue from Ream in 1866, she was only 18 years old.

Architect of the Capitol

Statue of Abraham Lincoln, by Vinnie Ream, 1870

When Congress commissioned this statue from Ream in 1866, she was only 18 years old.

Architect of the Capitol

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