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 portrait in the U.S. Capitol's Cox Corridors.
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 U.S. Capitol Visitor Center.
The artist's collection of work throughout Capitol Hill.
The Senate Office Buildings jurisdiction recently completed a project to restore the hearing room for the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation (SR-253) in the Russell Senate Office Building.
The Architect of the Capitol continues to evaluate how best to keep our employees safe. One of the important ways we're advancing our safety efforts is through self-inspections, which are part of the agency's Strategic Plan.
The latest edition of the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) employee magazine, Tholos, is now available. Article themes include Doing Good, By the Numbers, Before & After, Employee Highlights, Spotlight on Safety, Beyond the Dome, and AOC Gratitude.