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“The House of Representatives, in some respects, I think, is the most peculiar assemblage in the world,” Speaker Joe Cannon of Illinois once observed. Behind the legislation and procedure, House Members and staff have produced their own institutional history and heritage. Our blog, Whereas: Stories from the People’s House, tells their stories.

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Displaying 1–12 of 51 results

New House Portrait: Patsy Takemoto Mink

Portrait of Patsy Takemoto Mink
Today, the House of Representatives unveiled a new portrait of Representative Patsy Mink. The first woman of color and first Asian-American woman elected to Congress, in 1964, Mink’s work led to significant changes in education in the United States, including Title IX of the Education Act of 1972.
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Recent Artifacts Online, Spring 2022

Detail of the Page Call System Card
Collections Search is blooming with springtime additions! They join the thousands of paintings, photos, and artifacts that are already available online.
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Recent Artifacts Online, Winter 2022

Detail of William Levi Dawson, Jet Magazine Cover
Take a look at newly digitized artifacts in Collections Search. They join the thousands already available online, from portraits to ribbons.
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Recent Artifacts Online, Fall 2021

House Restaurant Teacup
All year, newly digitized artifacts join the thousands already available online. Take a look at a few added this autumn, and browse more of the House’s most eye-catching and recognizable objects at Collections Search.
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Pictures of an Impeachment

Thaddeus Stevens Reading the Newspaper
On February 24, 1868, the House of Representatives impeached President Andrew Johnson. This first-ever presidential impeachment captured the public’s attention, and mass-produced images—the up-and-coming visual media—fed the hunger for details.
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Edition for Educators—The House Collection

Anthony John (Toby) Moffett Jr. Poster
Home to more than 13,000 artifacts and works of art, the House Collection encompasses the institution’s history. This Edition for Educators highlights pieces that reflect the relationship between material culture and the history of the nation’s legislature.
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Space Oddity

Don Fuqua
Five paintings in the House Collection show how Science Committee chairs shared national enthusiasm for extraterrestrial exploration and embedded allusions to America’s space program in their portraits.
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The Superhero Style of Robert Smalls

Drawings of Robert Smalls from Golden Legacy
A dramatic backstory helped to launch Robert Smalls’s congressional career in the 1870s. A century later, the daring ship captain and Civil War hero’s story reappeared in the public eye as the subject of a volume of Golden Legacy, a comic book format Black history series for children.
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How Gallery Tickets Were Born

Gallery Visitors
On February 21, 1868, a one-sentence resolution in the House of Representatives brought thousands running to the Capitol: “That Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, be impeached of high crimes and misdemeanors.” Alongside the national consequences of impeachment, massive public interest caused a smaller development: the introduction of gallery passes.
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Capitol Art & Artifacts: Girandole

Girandole
In a quiet corner of today’s Speaker’s Ceremonial Office hangs a girandole mirror. When candles are lit, light bounces off the mirror. The House’s girandole dates from the first half of the 19th century and boasts a Capitol provenance from its association with an early Clerk of the House of Representatives.
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A Congressional Made Man

Print of the House Chamber in 1836
In the winter of 1842, inventor Samuel F. B. Morse nervously wrote to his brother Sidney Morse from Washington, DC. Morse hoped that the House of Representatives would appropriate $30,000 “to test the practicability of establishing a system of electro magnetic telegraphs.”
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Categories: Superlatives, Committees, Art

What Does “Civilization” Look Like?

Detail of Harper's Weekly Cover
Reconstruction Era illustrations from Harper’s Weekly both showed and told their audience about new civil rights laws and gave them a graphic sense of changes in America.
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