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

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Black and white picture of Frederick Law Olmsted  best known for designing the grounds of New York City’s Central Park, the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina, and the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago.
Regarded as the founder of American landscape architecture, Frederick Law...

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Snapshot of a crowd of people on a guided tour through the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol
Official Tours of the U.S. Capitol Building are offered Monday through...

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Painted portrait of Dr. William Thornton
 The Architect of the Capitol (AOC) is the builder and steward of America’s...

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East Front Plaza Repairs
AOC is making repairs to expansion joints on the East Front Plaza of the...

About Relief Portrait Plaques of Lawgivers

Relief Portraits of Lawgivers
Overview 

The Relief Portraits of Lawgivers are located in the House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol Building. The 23 marble relief portraits over the gallery doors of the House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol depict historical figures noted for their work in establishing the principles that underlie American law. They were installed when the chamber was remodeled in 1949-1950.

Created in bas relief of white Vermont marble by seven different sculptors, the plaques each measure 28 inches in diameter. The 11 profiles in the eastern half of the chamber face left and the eleven in the western half face right, so that all look towards the full-face relief of Moses in the center of the north wall.

The subjects of the reliefs were chosen by scholars from the University of Pennsylvania and the Columbia Historical Society of Washington, D.C., in consultation with authoritative staff members of the Library of Congress. The selection was approved by a special committee of five Members of the House of Representatives and the Architect of the Capitol.

The plaster models for these reliefs are on display on the walls in the Rayburn House Office Building subway terminal.

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Last Updated: October 10, 2014