Portraits in the House of Representatives

The history of the House of Representatives revolves around the people whose lives and work have contributed to the development of the institution. Unsurprisingly, portraits commemorating these individuals are a significant part of the House Collection of Art and Artifacts.

For most of the collection’s history, only two formal positions in House have traditionally had portraits painted—committee chairs and Speakers of the House. Committee chairs make up the largest portion of the portrait collection. In the 21st century, additional commissions have continued to expand the House Collection, depicting historically significant figures in House history, including future Presidents, founders, and congressional trailblazers.

Learn more about committee chair portraits and official commissions in this digital exhibition, and read about the Speaker portrait collection here.

Ways and Means Committee Hearing Room/tiles/non-collection/p/portraits-committees-WM_1934_PA2014_07_0001-cropped.xml Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
In this 1934 photograph, the Ways and Means Committee displays multiple portraits of former committee chairs.

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