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National Statuary Hall Collection
The National Statuary Hall Collection in the United States Capitol is composed of statues donated by individual states to honor persons notable in their history. Limited to two statues per state, the collection was originally set up in the old Hall of the House of Representatives, which was then renamed National Statuary Hall. The expanding collection has since been spread throughout the Capitol and its Visitor's Center.
With the addition of New Mexico's second statue in 2005, the collection is now complete with 100 statues contributed by 50 states, plus one from the District of Columbia, and one for all the states, a statue of Rosa Parks. Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska, and Ohio have each replaced one of their first two statues after Congress authorized replacements in 2000.
The concept of a National Statuary Hall originated in the middle of the nineteenth century, before the completion of the present House wing in 1857. At that time, the House of Representatives moved into its new larger chamber and the old vacant chamber became a thoroughfare between the Rotunda and the House wing. Suggestions for the use of the chamber were made as early as 1853 by Gouverneur Kemble, a former member of the House, who pressed for its use as a gallery of historical paintings. The space between the columns seemed too limited for this purpose, but it was well suited for the display of busts and statuary.
On April 19, 1864, Representative Justin S. Morrill asked: "To what end more useful or grand, and at the same time simple and inexpensive, can we devote it [the Chamber] than to ordain that it shall be set apart for the reception of such statuary as each State shall elect to be deserving of in this lasting commemoration?" His proposal to create a National Statuary Hall became law on July 2, 1864:
[...] the President is hereby authorized to invite each and all the States to provide and furnish statues, in marble or bronze, not exceeding two in number for each State, of deceased persons who have been citizens thereof, and illustrious for their historic renown or for distinguished civic or military services such as each State may deem to be worthy of this national commemoration; and when so furnished the same shall be placed in the Old Hall of the House of Representatives, in the Capitol of the United States, which is set apart, or so much thereof as may be necessary, as a national statuary hall for the purpose herein indicated.
Originally, all state statues were placed in National Statuary Hall. However, the aesthetic appearance of the Hall began to suffer from overcrowding until, in 1933, the situation became unbearable. At that time the Hall held 65 statues, which stood, in some cases, three deep. More important, the structure of the chamber would not support the weight of any more statues. Therefore, in 1933 Congress passed a resolution that:
the Architect of the Capitol, upon the approval of the Joint Committee on the Library, with the advice of the Commission of Fine Arts, is hereby authorized and directed to relocate within the Capitol any of the statues already received and placed in Statuary Hall, and to provide for the reception and location of the statues received hereafter from the States.
Under authority of this resolution it was decided that only one statue from each state should be placed in Statuary Hall. The others would be given prominent locations in designated areas and corridors of the Capitol. A second rearrangement of the statues was made in 1976 by authorization of the Joint Committee on the Library. To improve the crowded appearance of the collection, thirty-eight statues were rearranged in Statuary Hall according to height and material. Statues representing ten of the thirteen original colonies were moved to the Central Hall of the East Front Extension on the first floor of the Capitol. The remainder of the statues were distributed throughout the Capitol, mainly in the Hall of Columns and the connecting corridors of the House and Senate wings. Legislation was introduced in 2005 that would authorize the collection to include one statue from each U.S. Territory; it did not pass.
Each statue is the gift of a state, not of an individual or group of citizens. Proceedings for the donation of a statue usually begin in the state legislature with the enactment of a resolution that names the citizen to be commemorated and cites his or her qualifications, specifies a committee or commission to represent the state in selecting the sculptor, and provides for a method of obtaining the necessary funds to carry the resolution into effect. In recent years, the statues have been unveiled during ceremonies in the Rotunda and displayed there for up to six months. They are then moved to a permanent location approved by the Joint Committee on the Library. An act of Congress (2 U.S.C. § 2132), enacted in 2000, permits states to provide replacements and repossess the earlier one.
A special act of Congress, Pub.L. 109–116 (text) (pdf), signed on December 1, 2005, directed the Joint Committee on the Library to obtain a statue of Rosa Parks and to place the statue in the United States Capitol in National Statuary Hall in a suitable permanent location. On February 27, 2013, Parks became the first African-American woman to have her likeness in the Hall. Though located in Statuary Hall, Parks' statue is not part of the Collection; neither Alabama (her birth state) nor Michigan (where she lived most of her later years) commissioned it, and both states are represented in the Collection by other statues.
In 2002, Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton introduced a bill in Congress to allow the District of Columbia to place two statues in the collection, in parity with the 50 states. While the bill was not enacted, the district commissioned two statues, one of abolitionist Frederick Douglass, the other of D.C. master planner Pierre L'Enfant, and housed them in One Judiciary Square in hopes of eventually placing them in the Capitol. A 2010 version of the bill to accept D.C.'s statues stalled after House Republicans began adding amendments weakening D.C.'s gun laws. A 2012 compromise bill led to the placement of the statue of Douglass, but not L'Enfant, on June 19, 2013. Norton has continued to pursue legislation to move the second statue to the Capitol.
Amid national debates about Confederate statues and monuments, Democrats in Congress introduced bills in 2017 to remove statues of people who served in the Confederacy from the National Statuary Hall Collection, but the legislation made no progress. Alabama, Florida, and Arkansas have passed resolutions to remove statues of individuals with Confederate ties, although Alabama retained a second statue of a Confederate veteran. North Carolina and Arkansas have authorized replacing statues of Jim Crow-era politicians with racist views.
There are nine statues of women representing states in the collection: Frances E. Willard (Illinois), the first statue of a woman in the collection, was also sculpted by a woman, Helen Farnsworth Mears; Helen Keller (Alabama); Florence Sabin (Colorado); Maria Sanford (Minnesota); Jeannette Rankin (Montana), the first woman elected to the House and, famously, the only Member of Congress to vote against U.S. entry into both World Wars; Sacagawea (North Dakota) and Sarah Winnemucca (Nevada), two of the six American Indians in the collection; Mother Joseph (Washington), a native of Canada; and Esther Hobart Morris (Wyoming). The statue of Rosa Parks does not represent any single state. Statues of Willa Cather (Nebraska), Mary McLeod Bethune (Florida) and Daisy Bates (Arkansas) have been authorized.
Native Hawaiian and Native American members
Includes statues of Hawaiian Kamehameha I and of six American Indians: Popé, Will Rogers, Sequoyah, Sacagawea, Washakie, and Sarah Winnemucca. Nebraska has authorized the addition of a statue of Chief Standing Bear.
Members of Hispanic descent
Dennis Chávez, the first person of Hispanic descent to be elected to a full term in the U.S. Senate, represents New Mexico. Saint Junípero Serra, born in Spain, was a Spanish-era founder of the California mission system.
In February 2013, a statue of Rosa Parks was placed as the first full-length statue of an African-American in the Capitol. It did not represent a particular state, but was commissioned directly by congress. A few months later, on Juneteenth, 2013, a statue of Frederick Douglass was placed in the Capitol Visitor Center as a gift of the District of Columbia. There are also busts of Martin Luther King Jr. (1986) and Sojourner Truth (2009).
Until 2018, no state had designated an African American as one of its two statues. In March 2018, the Governor of Florida signed legislation to replace the statue of Edmund Kirby Smith with one of African-American educator and Civil Rights activist Mary McLeod Bethune. In April 2019, Arkansas also authorized a statue of Daisy Bates.
The collection includes Father Damien from Hawai'i, Father Jacques Marquette from Wisconsin, Father Junipero Serra from California, and Father Eusebio Kino from Arizona, as well as Mother Joseph from Washington.
The collection contains several statues of leaders of the Confederate States of America. These include CSA President Jefferson Davis and Vice President Alexander Stephens and Confederate soldiers, most in Confederate Army uniforms: Generals Joseph Wheeler, James Z. George, Wade Hampton III, and Edmund Kirby Smith, as well as Colonel Zebulon Baird Vance and former enlisted soldiers John E. Kenna and Edward Douglass White. The collection also includes a statue of Uriah M. Rose, "an attorney who sided with the Confederacy" and was the chancellor of Pulaski County, Arkansas while Arkansas was part of the Confederacy.
Alabama replaced its statue of Confederate politician and army officer Jabez Curry in 2009. In 2018 the Florida legislature voted to replace Edmund Kirby Smith with African-American educator and Civil Rights activist Mary McLeod Bethune. In 2019, Arkansas decided to replace both its statues, including the one of Uriah M. Rose, with civil rights activist Daisy Bates and Johnny Cash. In 2020, Virginia decided to replace its statue of Robert E. Lee, which had stood in the collection since 1909, with one of Barbara Rose Johns Powell and the Lee statute was removed December 20/21, 2020.
Replacement of statues
A 2000 change in the law allows a state to remove a previously placed statue from the collection and replace it with another. Since then, eight states have replaced statues and other states have either considered or passed legislation calling for replacing one or both of their statues.
- Alabama replaced its statue of Jabez Curry in 2009 with one of Helen Keller. The Curry statue is now at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama.
- Arizona replaced its statue of John Campbell Greenway in 2015 with one of Barry Goldwater. The Greenway statue is now at the Polly Rosenbaum Archives and History Building near the Arizona State Capitol in Phoenix.
- California replaced its statue of Thomas Starr King with one of Ronald Reagan in 2009. The King statue now stands in Capitol Park at the California State Capitol in Sacramento.
- Iowa replaced its statue of James Harlan in 2014 with one of Norman Borlaug, who is considered the founder of the Green Revolution. The Harlan statue is now displayed at Iowa Wesleyan College in Mount Pleasant, Iowa.
- Kansas replaced its statue of George Washington Glick with one of Dwight D. Eisenhower in 2003. The Glick statue now resides at the Kansas State Historical Society in Topeka.
- Michigan replaced its statue of Zachariah Chandler with one of Gerald Ford in 2011. The Chandler statue is now in the atrium of Constitution Hall in Lansing, Michigan.
- Nebraska replaced its statue of William Jennings Bryan with one of Ponca Chief Standing Bear. The Standing Bear statue is the work of Ben Victor, who created two similar statues of the chief that were previously installed in Nebraska, and was installed in September 2019. The Bryan statue was relocated to the Nebraska National Guard Museum in Seward, Nebraska.
- Ohio replaced its statue of William Allen with one of inventor and businessman Thomas Edison in 2016. Allen's statue was returned to his hometown of Chillicothe.
- Arkansas: On April 11, 2019, Governor Asa Hutchinson signed legislation replacing both of Arkansas' statues with ones of civil rights activist Daisy Bates and musician Johnny Cash.
- Florida: On March 19, 2018, Governor Rick Scott signed legislation replacing its statue of Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith with one of the African-American civil rights activist and educator Mary McLeod Bethune. The Smith statue was to have been moved to the Lake County Historical Museum in Tavares, after residents of St. Augustine, his birthplace, expressed no interest. However, at a County Commission meeting on July 24, 2018, about 24 residents spoke against, and none in favor, of bringing the statue to Lake County. Chairman Sullivan assured the crowd that the commission would tell the Historical Museum "that there is no longer a want or desire to bring this statue to Lake County".
- Kansas: The Kansas legislature approved replacing the statue of John James Ingalls with one of female aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart in the same 1999 resolution that authorized replacing their statue of George Washington Glick with one of Eisenhower, but progress on the project was stalled by funding and paperwork delays. However, as recently as 2019, organizations such as the Atchison Amelia Earhart Foundation and Equal Visibility Everywhere still insist an installation of Earhart's statue is imminent.
- Missouri: In 2002, Governor Bob Holden signed a resolution to add a statue of President Harry S. Truman to the collection, but nothing happened for years after the state's request to the Architect of the Capitol was improperly filed. In 2019 a new resolution for a Truman statue passed the state senate and was forwarded to the Missouri House. The Truman Library Institute commissioned Kansas City sculptor Tom Corbin to create the statue, with a target completion date of 2020, the 75th anniversary of Truman's inauguration.
- Nebraska: In 2018, the Nebraska legislature passed LB 807, calling for the replacement of both of the state's statues, which date to 1937. The statue of J. Sterling Morton is to be replaced with one of novelist Willa Cather. Sculptor Littleton Alston was commissioned to create the Cather statue, with installation planned for May 2020.
- North Carolina: On October 2, 2015, North Carolina governor Pat McCrory signed a bill replacing the statue of Charles Aycock with one of Reverend Billy Graham. However, the replacement was delayed because the statues must represent deceased individuals; Reverend Graham did not die until February 2018. One week after Graham's death, McCrory's successor, Roy Cooper, submitted a formal request for replacement of the Aycock statue. The North Carolina Statuary Hall Selection Committee issued a request for proposals for the statue indicating a desired completion date of September 2020.
- Utah: On April 4, 2018, Governor Gary Herbert signed legislation replacing its statue of Philo Farnsworth with a statue sculpted by Ben Hammond of Martha Hughes Cannon, the first woman elected as a state senator in US history.
- Virginia: A state commission suggested to the Governor to replace Virginia's statue of Robert E. Lee with one of civil rights activist Barbara Johns in December 2020. The statue of Lee was removed on December 21, 2020 and the installation of Barbara Johns's statue is pending. 
Considered for replacement
- California: A resolution to replace California's statue of Junípero Serra with one of astronaut Sally Ride passed the state senate in April 2015, but the vote in the state assembly was placed on hold as the date for Serra's canonization as a saint approached. Governor Jerry Brown declared in July 2015 that the Serra statue would stay in the Capitol “until the end of time."
- New Jersey: A bill to replace New Jersey's statue of Philip Kearny with one of suffragist Alice Paul passed the state Senate on February 10, 2020.
- "To permit each of the territories of the United States to provide and furnish a statue honoring a citizen of the territory to be placed in Statuary Hall in the same manner as statues honoring citizens of the States are placed in Statuary Hall. (2005 – H.R. 4070)". GovTrack.us. Retrieved April 20, 2019.
- "Rosa Parks: First Statue of African-American Female to Grace Capitol". ABC News. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
- Wexler, Ellen (June 14, 2014). "First Statue Representing D.C. Unveiled in U.S. Capitol". Boundary Stones: WETA's Washington DC History Blog. Retrieved April 20, 2019.
- Pershing, Ben (June 19, 2013). "Frederick Douglass statue unveiled in the Capitol". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 19, 2019.
- "As Part of Her 'Free and Equal D.C.' Series, Norton Introduces Bill to Place Pierre L'Enfant Statue in U.S. Capitol". Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton. July 12, 2017. Retrieved April 20, 2019.
- Theobald, Bill (September 19, 2018). "Controversial Confederate statues remain in U.S. Capitol despite being removed elsewhere". USA Today. Archived from the original on February 25, 2020. Retrieved April 20, 2019.
- Schor, Elana (August 15, 2017). "Confederate statues in U.S. Capitol likely going nowhere". Politico. Archived from the original on June 14, 2020. Retrieved April 20, 2019.
- "U.S. Capitol's National Statuary Hall: Curry comes home barely known". AL.com. October 11, 2009. Archived from the original on April 22, 2019. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
- McNiff, Tim (July 24, 2018). "Lake County Commission does about-face on confederate statue". Daily Commercial.
- "Daisy Bates, Johnny Cash statues headed to U.S. Capitol". Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. April 11, 2019.
- "Joseph Wheeler". Architect of the Capitol. Retrieved April 20, 2019.
- "The Nine Women of Statuary Hall : EVE | Equal Visibility Everywhere". Retrieved April 20, 2019.
- "Frances E. Willard". Architect of the Capitol. Retrieved April 20, 2019.
- Raun, Andy (March 1, 2019). "Group commissioning statue of Willa Cather for Statuary Hall". Hastings Tribune. Archived from the original on August 4, 2020. Retrieved April 20, 2019.
- Sexton, Christine; Saunders, Jim (March 21, 2018). "Florida to replace Confederate statue at US Capitol with civil-rights leader". The Palm Beach Post. Archived from the original on June 16, 2020. Retrieved April 24, 2018.
- Committee on Rules, Florida Senate (January 9, 2018). "Senate Bill 472 Analysis" (PDF). Retrieved January 14, 2018.
- Rach, Julie (March 5, 2019). "Rotary learns about Capitol statue replacement". Nebraska City News-Press. Archived from the original on August 4, 2020. Retrieved April 20, 2019.
- Architect of the Capitol. "ROSA PARKS". Retrieved April 24, 2018.
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- Architect of the Capitol. "MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. BUST". Retrieved April 24, 2018.
- Brockell, Gillian (August 17, 2017). "How statues of Robert E. Lee and other Confederates got into the U.S. Capitol". Washington Post. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
- Itkowitz, Colby (April 17, 2019). "Johnny Cash to replace Confederate statue on Capitol Hill". Washington Post.
- "Daisy Bates, Johnny Cash statues headed to U.S. Capitol". Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. The Associated Press. April 11, 2019. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
- Schneider, Gregory S. (December 21, 2020). "Gen. Robert E. Lee statue removed from U.S. Capitol". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on December 21, 2020. Retrieved December 21, 2020.
- Kennedy, Merrit (December 21, 2020). "Virginia Removes Its Robert E. Lee Statue From U.S. Capitol". NPR. Archived from the original on December 21, 2020. Retrieved December 21, 2020.
- "Procedure and Guidelines for Replacement of Statues in the National Statuary Hall Collection" (PDF). Architect of the Capitol. January 2014. Retrieved October 7, 2015.
- Theobald, Bill (February 11, 2015). "Goldwater statue dedicated in National Statuary Hall". The Arizona Republic. Phoenix. Retrieved March 1, 2015.
- Cheevers, Jack (May 29, 2009). "Thomas Starr King deserves better". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
- Doering, Christopher (March 26, 2014). "Norman Borlaug enters U.S. Capital's Statuary Hall". The Des Moines Register. Retrieved June 18, 2014.
- Henderson, O. Kay (April 9, 2013). "Harlan statue will move from U.S. Capitol to Mt. Pleasant". Iowa Public Radio. Retrieved June 18, 2014.
- Holland, Judy (March 29, 2008). "Capitol statues switched as subjects' fame fades". Star Tribune. Minneapolis. Archived from the original on April 11, 2013. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
- Simon, Richard (September 10, 2011). "Zachariah who? States swap out statues in Capitol hall of fame". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
- Camia, Catalina (May 3, 2011). "Gerald Ford honored with statue in U.S. Capitol". USA Today. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
- "Statue swap: Zachariah Chandler comes home to Michigan as Gerald R. Ford heads to U.S. Capitol". The Grand Rapids Press. Associated Press. April 22, 2011. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
- Dockendorf, Randy (August 28, 2018). "Standing Bear Statue Looks To The Future For Ponca Tribe". Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan. Archived from the original on August 4, 2020. Retrieved April 20, 2019.
- Crawford, Lisa (October 18, 2019). "William Jennings Bryan statue finds new home in Nebraska National Guard Museum". Defense Visual Information Distribution Service. Retrieved January 26, 2020.
"History". Ohio Statuary Hall Commission. Archived from the original on June 7, 2014. Retrieved June 5, 2014.
In 2012, the 129th Ohio General Assembly and Governor Kasich formalized the public vote to replace Allen with Thomas Edison through passage of HB 487 (section 701.121).
- "Panel recommends Thomas Edison statue go in U.S. Capitol". The Plain Dealer. Cleveland. Associated Press. August 26, 2010. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
- Wehrman, Jessica (September 21, 2016). "Thomas Edison statue dedicated in U.S. Capitol's Statuary Hall". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved February 3, 2017.
- Palm Beach Post, March 11, 2018, p. A12.
- Commentary: Statue of Confederate general is no 'piece of art,' has no place in Lake County museum Retrieved July 2, 2018
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- Biles, Jan (March 12, 2011). "Amelia's monument about to take flight". The Topeka Capital-Journal. Archived from the original on October 7, 2012. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
- Newhauser, Daniel (May 2, 2011). "Updating History: the State of Statue Swaps". Retrieved April 20, 2019.
- Newhouse, Sean (August 30, 2019). "Where Is Amelia Earhart? Not at the US Capitol". Roll Call. Archived from the original on November 25, 2020.
- "Missouri lawmakers are trying again to replace a statue at the U.S. Capitol with one of former President Harry Truman". Southeast Missourian. Associated Press. February 7, 2019. Retrieved April 19, 2019.
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- "Governor McCrory Signs Bill Requesting Statue of Billy Graham be Placed in U.S. Capitol" (Press release). North Carolina Office of the Governor. October 7, 2015. Retrieved October 8, 2015.
- Murphy, Brian (February 28, 2018). "NC leaders move forward with another honor for Billy Graham: US Capitol statue". The News & Observer. Raleigh, NC. Retrieved February 17, 2019.
- Frey, Kevin (February 21, 2019). "A Year After His Death, Steps Underway to Install Billy Graham Statue in US Capitol". Spectrum News 1 North Carolina. Archived from the original on August 4, 2020. Retrieved April 20, 2019.
- Weaver, Jennifer (April 4, 2018). "Statue of Dr. Martha Hughes Cannon heads to U.S. Capitol". KUTV. Retrieved September 3, 2018.
- Pietsch, Bryan (December 22, 2020). "Robert E. Lee Statue Is Removed From U.S. Capitol". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
- "Robert E. Lee statue removed from U.S. Capitol". NBC News. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
- Nichols, Chris (April 13, 2015). "Senate barely approves Sally Ride statue". San Diego Union-Tribune. Archived from the original on August 4, 2020. Retrieved April 20, 2019.
- Chirbas, Kurt (July 2, 2015). "Resolution to replace Junipero Serra statue in U.S. Capitol put on hold". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 20, 2019.
McGreevy, Patrick (April 13, 2015). "State Senate calls for swapping Father Serra statue with one of Sally Ride". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 14, 2015.
Finley, Allysia (June 4, 2014). "The Political Assault on California's Saint". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved June 5, 2015.
The state Assembly and Gov. Brown would still need to OK the statue swap, which doesn’t appear to be a legislative priority for either.
- Smolens, Michael (July 25, 2015). "Gov. Brown: Serra statue not going anywhere". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved April 20, 2019.
- D'Auria, Peter (February 10, 2020). "Bill to replace Kearny statue at U.S. Capitol passes N.J. Senate, angering residents". NJ.com. Retrieved February 13, 2020.
- Aoc.gov: Official National Statuary Hall Collection website
- Aoc.gov: The origins of the National Statuary Hall Collection
- Guide to State Statues in the National Statuary Hall Collection
- Fas.org: "The National Statuary Hall: assignment, use, and historic events" – from the Congressional Research Service.
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