Extended Summer 2016 Brown Bag Series
The U.S. Capitol Historical is pleased to announce an extended series of summer brown bag events. On Wednesdays from July 27 to August 31, USCHS will welcome a range of speakers covering topics from historical art to concepts of empire. Attendees will learn about George Washington, the way artists have portrayed him and other historical subjects, and DC history.
All events will be held at noon in Ketchum Hall in the VFW Building at 200 Maryland Ave. NE, Washington, DC 20002. The nearest metro stations are Union Station and Capitol South. The events are all free and open to the public, though pre-registration is requested. PRE-REGISTER HERE!
July 27: Dr. Debra Hanson, Capitol fellow, will speak about William H. Powell’s “The Battle of Lake Erie,” which hangs in the Senate wing of the Capitol.
Hanson’s talk will preview her upcoming article in The Capitol Dome on William Powell’s painting of “The Battle of Lake Erie” in the Capitol, the battle itself, and the issues and controversies surrounding both this historical event and Powell’s representation of it.
Hanson is an art historian specializing in American Art and Visual Culture of the nineteenth and early twentieth century, with particular emphasis on the art and architecture of the US Capitol and the work of Thomas Eakins. She received her PhD in Art History from Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in 2005 and is currently an Assistant Professor of Art History at VCU’s Middle Eastern campus in Doha, Qatar. She is also assistant director of the Honors Program at VCUQatar. Hanson has been awarded numerous fellowships from the U.S. Capitol Historical Society to conduct research at the Capitol and has written and presented extensively on the intersections of art, architectural space, politics, and historical memory within the Capitol.
August 3: Dr. Kathleen Bartoloni-Tuazon, visiting scholar at the First Federal Congress Project, will give a book talk on For Fear of an Elective King: George Washington and the Presidential Title Controversy of 1789.
In the spring of 1789, within weeks of the establishment of the new federal government based on the U.S. Constitution, the Senate and House of Representatives fell into dispute regarding how to address the president. Congress, the press, and individuals debated more than thirty titles, many of which had royal associations and some of which were clearly monarchical. For Fear of an Elective King is Bartoloni-Tuazon’s rich account of the title controversy and its meanings.
August 10: Dr. Ken Bowling, The George Washington University, will lecture on the concept “westward the course of empire” as a cause of the American Revolution.
Bowling, a sometimes board member of the Society, received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in 1968. He is the author of “‘Tub to the Whale:’ The Founding Fathers and the Adoption of the Federal Bill of Rights,” Journal of the Early Republic, and “Overshadowed by States’ Rights: Ratification of the Federal Bill of Rights,” Ronald Hoffman and Peter J. Albert, eds., The Bill of Rights: Government Proscribed. Along with his colleagues at the First Federal Congress Project, he edited Creating the Bill of Rights: The Documentary Record from the First Federal Congress.
August 17: Peter Waddell, artist-in-residence at Tudor Place, will offer “An Artist’s Insight on Historical Paintings.”
Best known for his paintings of Washington, D.C., history and architecture, Peter Waddell has previously created works about the Capitol in the nineteenth century (Inside the Temple of Liberty); the role of Freemasons in the creation of the Federal City (The Initiated Eye); the history of the Octagon; and numerous other commissions for historic sites including Mount Vernon and Tudor Place. Recent smaller works can be found on the streets of the city around the National Cathedral, and in the Kalorama neighborhood where Peter has been involved in the Call Box Project, placing historical images on former police and fire call boxes. His contributions to the arts in Washington, D.C., were recognized in 2010 when he received the Mayor’s Art Award. Waddell has also worked with the White House Historical Association to create 15 paintings about the White House in its first 100 years; this work from “An Artist Visits the White House Past” and other series can be seen on his website.
August 24: Mark Ozer, independent historian, will give a book talk on Washington, DC: The National Shrine 1890-1940.
During Washington, DC’s centennial as the seat of Government in 1900, the United States entered a new era following a short, triumphant war. Its government would also be remade in the spirit of the Progressive movement to meet the challenges of industrial mobilization tested in the crucial participation in a world war. It would meet a national economic crisis in which industrial capitalism was found wanting and the city took on new responsibilities. By 1940, it had clearly become an international power while its national capital had been remade to fulfill its new role in line to become a world capital.
Mark N. Ozer has lectured throughout the world as a former professor of neurology at the Georgetown University Medical School. Currently a study group leader at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the American University, he has lectured on the history of most of the great cities of the world. Dr. Ozer has published more than 15 books, including a series of books on Washington, D.C.
August 31: William C. diGiacomantonio, USCHS chief historian, will lecture on representations of George Washington in visual art.