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About this collection

In 1825, Georgia state government commissioned life-size portraits of James Oglethorpe, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and Marquis de Lafayette to be displayed in the Milledgeville Capitol. These five paintings became the foundation of an art collection that now numbers close to 300 portraits, sculptures, and other memorials. The completion of the current Capitol building in 1889 led to the acquisition of the majority of our current collection. With little money at the time of building to be used on interior painting or grand murals, portraits became an easy way to embellish the public spaces while honoring individual Georgians. Starting in 1907 with the erection of the equestrian statue of John Brown Gordon, sculptures and plaques began to populate the Capitol grounds.

 

Without a definitive display plan, artworks were placed wherever there was space on the wall; this led to a crowded unorganized collection by the mid 1990s. During a massive renovation of the Capitol a display plan for the Capitol Art Collection was set into place creating a more aesthetically pleasing space. This meant, however, that many portraits were placed in storage.

 

This collection is important to the citizens of Georgia. Not only does it represent almost two centuries of American portraiture, it also provides a window on how Georgians in the past choose to honor their leaders and in so doing a glimpse into the values they believed to be most important.

 

Usage Note: Users may download the images for personal or educational use - students may include images in reports, for instance, and teachers may use the images in the classroom - if the following credit line is included with the image: Courtesy of the Georgia Capitol Museum.

 

Ordering:To order reproductions and apply for permission to publish, please contact the Georgia Capitol Museum. Refer to an image by the collection name and Object ID (e.g. Capitol Art Collection 2010.23.0001)

 

Contact:

Georgia Capitol Museum
kjohnsto@uga.edu

 

This collection was launched in March 2009.

 
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