Washingtonians at Work and Play


Washingtonians at Work and Play



Through July 20, 2024

What did life look like for Washington’s 19th-century residents? Much like today, D.C. residents studied at universities, worked for government agencies, and enjoyed concerts, museums and national ceremonies unique to the capital city. Historical newspaper illustrations and other artifacts in this exhibition capture daily scenes of labor and leisure.

This exhibition is organized by the Albert H. Small Center for National Capital Area Studies with support from the Albert and Shirley Small Family Foundation.


An artwork depicting two people on a ladder painting the Capitol dome


Washington, D.C. – Painting the Dome of the Capitol, Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, 1894, AS 393. 

An historical artwork depicting two women with parasols and two dogs in a park


F. Myrick, Farragut Square Showing the Russian Legation Building, Samuel Smith Kilburn, 1890, AS 441.

An historical newspaper illustration composed of three scenes. The bottom one shows a group of women on a balcony looking out over a soldiers' camp at the foot of the Washington monument


Charles Upham, The National Military Drill on the Park South of the White House Ground, May 23-30, Washington, D.C., Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, 1887, AS 385.