Statues Placed in Niches on Corcoran Gallery

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From 1880-1884 marble statues designed by Moses Ezekiel, a Confederate veteran from Richmond, Virginia, are placed in the niches along the exterior of the Corcoran Gallery of Art. These statues depict Phidias, Raphael, Michelangelo, Durer, Titian, da Vinci, Rubens, Rembrandt, Murillo, Canova, and (the only American) Thomas Crawford, the sculptor of the "Freedom" statue atop the Capitol Building. The statues were sold shortly after the Corcoran Gallery of Art moved to its new building at 17th Street and New York Avenue, N.W. in 1897. Today the Crawford is in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the others are at the Botanical Gardens in Norfolk, Virginia. Copies of the Murillo and Rubens figures, executed by sculptor Renato Lucchetti, were placed in the remaining niches on the 17th street facade in 1974 when the building was restored.


  • Crawford, Thomas 1813 or 14-1857
  • Ezekiel, Moses Jacob 1844-1917
  • Corcoran Gallery of Art
  • Renwick Gallery)
  • Smithsonian American Art Museum


Chronology of Smithsonian History


  • Goode, James M. The Outdoor Sculptureof Washington, D.C. Washington, Smithsonian Institution Press, 1974, p. 383, 528.
  • Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution for the year of 1974. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1974, p. 165.

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,




  • Architecture
  • Statues
  • Buildings

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