July 29 Noontime Lecture: George Washington in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

The U.S. Capitol Historical Society will host art historian Debra Hanson at noon on Wednesday, July 29. She will speak about the various images of George Washington in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol. CHANGE: The lecture will be held in room 325 of the Senate Russell Office Building.

Detail of George Washington from Constantino Brumidi's "Apotheosis"

Detail of George Washington from Constantino Brumidi’s “Apotheosis” (Architect of the Capitol)


Hanson’s talk, “George Washington in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda: Image, Space and Historical Memory”, will examine the orchestration of visual imagery and architectural space in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda. Focusing on representations of George Washington, it shows how their placement, style, and narrative content work together to construct a potent sense of historical memory with regard to the first president, the Capitol, and the nation.

Debra 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.

Pre-registration is recommended. This event is free and open to the public.