The first African-American Member to chair a standing committee, William L. Dawson served in the House of Representatives for nearly three decades. His portrait as the Government Operations Committee Chairman, the first portrait of an African-American Member of Congress, was atypical for Dawson. He disliked personal publicity, was wary of the media, and lived unpretentiously. Artist Robert Bruce Williams painted Dawson near the end of his chairmanship, standing before a curtain and resting his hand on a chair.
History, Art & Archives, U.S. House of Representatives, “William Levi Dawson,” https://history.house.gov/Collection/Listing/2002/2002-011-004/ (September 22, 2021)
Office of the Historian
Office of Art and Archives
Attic, Thomas Jefferson Building
Washington, D.C. 20515