Stewards of the iconic buildings and grounds of Capitol Hill since 1793.

Featured

Black and white portrait of Constantino Brumidi holding an easel and paintbrushes.
Constantino Brumidi (1805–1880) is best known for the murals he painted in the...

Featured

View of the U.S. Capitol Building from above at dusk
In order to ensure the safety of visitors and staff and to preserve the...

Featured

An AOC worker mowing the grass on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol
The roles and responsibilities of the Architect of the Capitol cover an...

Featured

Warehouses in Fort Meade, Maryland store items such as statues that were once displayed on the East Front of the Capitol.
The Architect of the Capitol is responsible for managing all of the buildings...

Progress of Civilization Pediment

The sculptural pediment over the Senate entrance on the East Front of the U.S. Capitol is called Progress of Civilization.
Thomas Crawford
Artist

Marble
1863

Pediment over the east entrance to the Senate wing of the U.S. Capitol

Overview 

The sculptural pediment over the Senate entrance on the East Front of the U.S. Capitol is called Progress of Civilization. The entire pediment is 80 feet long, its height at the center is approximately 12 feet, and the length of the sculpture is approximately 60 feet.

The center figure is America, who stands with an eagle at her side and the sun at her back. On the right, a woodsman, hunter, Indian chief, Indian mother and child, and Indian grave represent the early days of America. On the left the diversity of human endeavor is suggested by the soldier, the merchant, the two youths, the schoolmaster and child, and the mechanic. Completing this side of the tympanum are sheaves of wheat, symbolic of fertility, and an anchor, symbolic of hope; these elements are in contrast with the grave at the opposite end of the tympanum.

The figures were designed by American sculptor Thomas Crawford in Rome, Italy, in 1854. They were carved at the Capitol in 1855-1859 from Lee, Massachusetts, marble and erected in 1863.

The sculptor, Thomas Crawford (1814-1857), also created the Statue of Freedom atop the dome, the designs of bronze Senate and House doors, and the figures of Justice and History above the Senate bronze doors.

Last Updated: September 25, 2014