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

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In Emanuel Leutze’s mural, a group of pioneers and their train of covered wagons are pictured at the continental divide, looking towards the sunset and the Pacific Ocean. The border depicts vignettes of exploration and frontier mythology. Beneath the central composition is a panoramic view of their destination “Golden Gate,” in San Francisco Bay.
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Snapshot of a crowd of people on a guided tour through the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol
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Clive Atyeo, Gardener, USBG
Information about working for the Architect of the Capitol:

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Thomas Crawford

Thomas Crawford

Black and white hand drawn portrait of Thomas Crawford.

Perhaps no sculptor had more influence on the appearance of the U.S. Capitol Building than Thomas Crawford (1814-1857). His sculptures are featured prominently on the exterior of the Capitol, including the Statue of Freedom, which tops the Capitol Dome.

Crawford was born in New York City. He studied drawing and wood carving before joining the New York stonecutting studio of John Frazee and Robert Launitz. Crawford traveled to Rome in 1835 to study with Bertel Thorwaldsen, the preeminent Danish neoclassical sculptor, and he established his studio there.

In July 1853, Captain Montgomery Meigs, supervising engineer of the construction of the Capitol extension, asked Massachusetts Senator Edward Everett to recommend artists to design sculpture for the new pediments on the East Front. Everett recommended Thomas Crawford as an artist whose statuary would honor both the Capitol and the country.

Crawford designed the Progress of Civilization pediment, located on the East Front of the Senate wing of the Capitol, and the Justice and History sculpture, which is above the Senate doors of the east portico. He also designed the House and Senate bronze doors, which were completed by others, and sculpted the Statue of Freedom.

Crawford died suddenly in 1857 after completing of the full-size plaster model for the Statue of Freedom in Rome. After his death, his widow shipped the model to the United States, where it was cast in bronze by Clark Mills and placed atop the Capitol Dome on December 2, 1863. Crawford's original plaster model is now on view in Emancipation Hall in the Capitol Visitor Center.