The portrait of Rules Committee Chairman Howard Smith by Texas artist Victor Lallier met with controversy in the 1990s. Limited space in the committee’s hearing room dictated a selective display of portraits, and Chairman Gerald Solomon removed Claude Pepper’s portrait in order to display Smith’s. However, as the New York Times reported in 1995, Smith was “one of Congress’s most notorious bigots,” and he “used his chairmanship to impede civil rights legislation.” His record was pointed out by several Members as well as the Congressional Black Caucus, and the portrait was removed from the hearing room.
History, Art & Archives, U.S. House of Representatives, “Howard Worth Smith,” https://history.house.gov/Collection/Listing/2002/2002-017-004/ (July 14, 2020)
Office of the Historian
Office of Art and Archives
Attic, Thomas Jefferson Building
Washington, D.C. 20515