Revolutionary War Heroes in the Art of the U.S. Capitol

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Farar Ellliott, curator of the U.S. House of Representatives, discusses portraits of Revolutionary War in the U.S. Capitol in a lecture at the American Revolution Institute.
Revolutionary War Heroes in the Art of the U.S. Capitol
Farar Elliott
U.S. House of Representatives
November 15, 2013

The Revolutionary War portraits that adorn the U.S. Capitol serve a purpose beyond artistic decoration. In the early nineteenth century, Americans searched for icons to unite them as a new nation, particularly ones that evoked civic virtue. The only symbols that the fractured and growing nation could agree on were Revolutionary War heroes. Learn how the art commissioned for the Capitol, particularly portraits of George Washington, fulfilled this need for unifying symbols.

Video courtesy of C-SPAN’s American History TV


About the Speaker

Farar Elliott is the chief and curator of the Office of Art and Archives at the U.S. House of Representatives.


Watch How Revolutionary Americans Imagined George Washington to learn more about images of the commander-in-chief that were circulated during the American Revolution.