To today’s visitor, the U.S. Capitol and White House buildings are so familiar they feel both permanent and inevitable. In the early nineteenth century, however, the look and use of these symbols of democracy went through many changes. Foundations for a Nation explored how public competitions, the preferences of individual presidents, and unanticipated historical events shaped Washington’s iconic landmarks. Read the gallery guide for Foundations for a Nation.
The museum is temporarily closed to visitors in response to the coronavirus.