In the years after President Garfield was assassinated in 1881, the Congress considered acquiring a portrait of the first person to move directly from the House of Representatives to the presidency. Adele Fassett lobbied hard for the honor, arranging with the Architect of the Capitol to display her Garfield portrait in his office. Fassett's artwork in the Senate and her reputation as a prominent hostess helped her case. Ultimately, the House purchased this version in 1891, to mark his service as Chairman of the Appropriations Committee.
History, Art & Archives, U.S. House of Representatives, “James Abram Garfield,” http://history.house.gov/Collection/Detail (May 29, 2015)
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