Autumn Art and History Talks with USCHS

UPDATE: The Nov. 13 lecture with Don Hawkins has been rescheduled for Friday, Nov. 22.

AUTUMN ART AND HISTORY LECTURES AT USCHS: With Lee Pollock, Jacquelyn Delin McDonald, and Don Alexander Hawkins. The U.S. Capitol Historical Society will host lectures on the art and history of the Capitol, Congress, and Washington, D.C. on Wednesdays from noon to 1 pm. They are free and open to the public.



Lee PollockOctober 23: “Winston in Washington”

Lee Pollock, Trustee and Adviser to the Board, The International Churchill Society

Location: The National Churchill Library and Center (NCLC), First Level, 2130 H St NW, Washington, DC 20052 (enter the Gelman Library through side courtyard)

Winston Spencer Churchill was half-American, and his relationship with the country he called “The Great Republic” and its capital were critical to his career as Britain’s greatest Prime Minister. In sixty years in public life, he met presidents from William McKinley to John Kennedy and developed deep relationships with some of our most famous leaders, including Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and Dwight Eisenhower. Churchill’s extended sojourns in the White House during the Second World War were legendary; he was the first foreign leader to address Congress three times, most famously in December 1941, in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor. Not surprisingly, Winston Churchill is one of the few non-Americans honored with a bust in the United States Capitol.

 Lee Pollock is an acclaimed writer, historian and public speaker on the life and times of Winston Churchill. He is a trustee and advisor to the board of The International Churchill Society and was previously its executive director; he is a fellow of The National Churchill Museum. Pollock has written about Churchill for publications ranging from The Wall Street Journal and The New Criterion to The Daily Beast and Cigar Aficionado.



Jacquelyn Delin McDonaldNovember 6: “Elisabet Ney’s Sam Houston, ‘The Greatest of Wild Men’”

Jacquelyn Delin McDonald, M.A. Ph.D. Candidate–University of Texas at Dallas; Capitol Fellow–United States Capitol Historical Society; Graduate Research Fellow–Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History

Location: Capitol Visitor Center, Room SVC 215 (main entrance on 1st St. NE)

Elisabet Ney was first contracted to complete the Statue of Sam Houston in 1892 for the Texas Pavilion at the Colombian Exposition of 1893. The famed Texan, Houston, remains the only person to be Governor of two states–Texas and Tennessee—and was a two-term president of the Republic of Texas; he also served in both houses of the U.S. Congress and in the Texas House of Representatives. Consequently, Ney surprised many when she depicted Houston as a young man in Cherokee garb rather than as a senior statesman. Today, marble statues of Ney’s Sam Houston adorn the United States Capitol as well as the entrance of the Texas State Capitol, thus aggrandizing the unique legacy of “the greatest of wild men.”

Jacquelyn Delin McDonald is a PhD Candidate of Aesthetic Studies at the University of Texas at Dallas. She received a Master’s of Art in Art History with a minor in Museum Studies from Texas Tech University in 2015 and a Bachelor’s of Art from UT Dallas in Studio Art with a minor in Art History in 2012. She currently holds a Capitol Research Fellowship with the United States Capitol Historical Society as well as a Graduate Research Fellowship with the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History at UT Dallas.



November 13: “A Really Close Look at the L’Enfant Manuscript Plan of Washington”

Don Alexander Hawkins, independent historical cartographer

Location: Ketchum Hall, 200 Maryland Ave. NE; Washington, DC 20002

The Library of Congress holds a copy Peter L’Enfant’s manuscript plan for the city of Washington. As a U.S. Capitol Historical Society Capitol Fellow in 2012, Hawkins used high resolution scans of the plan to inspect the manuscript more carefully than had previously been possible. Hawkins will discuss which versions of the plan were drafts as well as who modified the drafts and contributed to the final plan.

Don Alexander Hawkins is an architect and longtime resident and student of Washington, D.C. He began mapping aspects of the city’s early history while earning a master’s degree in urban design at Catholic University. He has lectured widely on Washington’s beginnings and writes occasionally on its major unbuilt projects in Washington History Magazine. He is presently writing and drawing a book, Washington’s L’Enfant Plan: Described and Deconstructed.