THE CAPITOL
________ 
Index of Projects 
Virtual Tour 
Graphics Archive 
Maps 
NEW!
____ 
City Beautiful:
The 
1901 D.C. Plan 
Arlington
National
Cemetary 
The
Columbus Doors 
Erastus
Salisbury Field 
Puck:
Gilded AgeSatire 
Philadelphia
Water Works 
SPECIAL!
_________
World's
Columbia
Exposition:
1893 
Making
George
Washington 
Sublime Nature
in
the Capitol 
COMING SOON!
_________ 
 
THE CAPITOL PROJECT

  

The Capitol Project is an infinitely extensible exploration of the National Capitol as an American icon -- the cathedral of our national faith, the map of our public memory, and the monument to our official culture.  

At the center of the project stands the Building itself, at once an icon and a remarkable collection of icons -- paintings, frescoes, sculpture, reliefs, architecture, and a miscellany of material objects. In the immediately surrounding area, the Mall, we find an array of competing and/or confirming sites, the Smithsonian Institute and the Holocaust Memorial Museum, for example, the Treasury Building and the White House and the National Portrait Gallery. Finally, beyond the Mall lies the rest of America, for us a vast array of symbolic spaces engaged in continuous dialogue with the Capitol. These include the obvious -- the state capitol buildings in Richmond and Lincoln and Denver -- and the less obvious -- Monticello and Graceland, Disney's Frontier Land and the Carousel of Progress -- as well as some rather unlikely places, the magical garden of Georgia artist Howard Finster or the Historical Monument of the American Republic dreamt and painted by Erastus Salisbury Field.  

What links them all together -- beyond their wild variety, beyond the cacophony of forms and voices, beyond even their extraordinary fluidity and changeableness through time-- is that each claims to represent our TRUE national culture, our history and our destiny. Finding and explaining these links is our goal -- and also something we'll obviously never accomplish. But, if you enter the Capitol now, you'll see that we've at least made a beginning.  

To explore the Capitol you can  

  • go directly to the Index where satellite projects and sites are listed alphebetically, 
  • Enter the Rotunda and begin a virtual tour of the iconic objects found there and then throughout the building, 
  • explore the dynamic relation between the Capitol and other symbol-making centers around the country by going to The Map Room where projects are linked spatially, or 
  • search to Graphics Archive for sculpture, paintings, and architectural details from the Capitol. 



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Last updated February 23, 1997