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Progress of Civilization Pediment

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Progress of Civilization Pediment
Progress of Civilization Sun (25787861261).jpg
ArtistThomas Crawford
Dimensions366 cm × 1829 cm (144 in × 720 in)
LocationWashington D.C.

The Progress of Civilization is a marble pediment above the entrance to the Senate wing of the United States Capitol building designed by the sculptor Thomas Crawford. An allegorical personification of America stands at the center of the pediment. To her right, a white woodsman clears the wilderness inhabited by a Native American boy, father, mother, and child. The left side of the pediment depicts a soldier, a merchant, two schoolchildren, a teacher with her pupil, and a mechanic.[1]

The art historian Vivien Green Fryd argues that the pediment sends the message that "Native Americans must be removed and extirpated, if necessary, for the continued progress of the United States."[2] Other sculptures with similar implications, such as Horatio Greenough's The Rescue, were removed from the U.S. Capitol in the twentieth century because of their depiction of the white displacement of indigenous Americans. Crawford's pediment has not been subject to the same calls for removal.[2]


  1. ^ "Progress of Civilization Pediment". Architect of the Capitol. Retrieved 16 January 2021.
  2. ^ a b Fryd, Vivien Green (2001). Art and Empire: The Politics of Ethnicity in the United States Capitol, 1815-1860. Ohio University Press. p. 124.

This page was last edited on 24 May 2022, at 19:14
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