The United States Capitol artwork forms a visual narrative that reveals how the artists, and the Federal Government who commissioned them, envisioned America. In the nineteenth-century, this artwork included iconography lauding expansionism and Manifest Destiny. Often American Indians, commonly displaced by rapid expansionism westward, were worked into Capitol paintings, friezes, and sculptures as either Noble Savages, doomed to a sad but necessary extinction, or Ignoble Savages, whose hostility doomed them to a swift and justified extinction.

Capitol Savagery: Art


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