Lectures on James A. Garfield and Emanuel G. Leutze

The U.S. Capitol Historical Society will present two lectures in May. On Friday May 18, 2018, Matthew Gilmore will present Washington’s Unknown President, James A. Garfield: A Case Study in Creating a Memorial in Washington. On Wednesday, May 23, 2018 Heidi Irre will present Emanuel G. Leutze: “A Man of True Genius,” Neglected and Almost Forgotten. Both lectures will be held from 12:00 PM-1:00 PM in Ketchum Hall in the Veterans of Foreign Wars Building (200 Maryland Ave. NE; Washington, DC 20002).

These events are free and open to the public.



May 18 – Matthew B. Gilmore is the editor of the H-DC discussion list and blogs on Washington history and related subjects at matthewbgilmore.wordpress.com. Previously, he was a reference librarian at the Washingtoniana Division of the DC Public Library. The story of James Garfield’s memorial might be ripped from today’s headlines: a presidential memorial, delayed for years, caught up in Congressional infighting; legislation pending to displace the memorial and replace it with another. Yet the year was 1887, not 2017, and the memorial was for Garfield, not Eisenhower. In his talk, Gilmore will discuss the turmoil behind a seemingly simple act of remembrance.

May 23 – Heidi Irre lives in Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany, the town where Emanuel G. Leutze was born. In 2012 she  received a fellowship from the U.S. Capitol Historical Society, which contributed to the publication of her monograph “Emanuel G. Leutze. Von der Rems zum Delaware.” Leutze left behind a rich oeuvre in a number of forms, from portraits, and historical and genre paintings, to landscapes. Irre will discuss one of Leutze’s most well-known paintings, Westward the Course of Empire Takes its Way, which can be seen in the Capitol’s House Wing.