Scholars Series: Debra Hanson on the Apotheosis of Washington

The U.S. Capitol Historical Society is pleased to host Debra Hanson, assistant professor of Art History, Virginia Commonwealth University, for a lecture on the Apotheosis of Washington, Constantino Brumidi’s massive fresco inside the Capitol Dome. Join us at noon EDT on Wednesday, June 24 for this webinar. It is free and open to all–please share the information with anyone who may be interested! However, you must register to join the Zoom webinar.

Gaze up at Brumidi’s monumental Apotheosis of Washington fresco in the Capitol Rotunda. Have you wondered about the meaning of the term “apotheosis” and how it came to be associated with George Washington? These are among the questions art historian Debra Hanson will examine as she previews her chapter on “Apotheosis: From Ancient Rome to the U.S. Capitol Rotunda” for the U.S. Capitol Historical Society’s forthcoming volume of essays on Roman influences on the art and architecture of the Capitol. Using key images from the chapter as evidence, Hanson shows how and why an ancient Roman ritual gained prominence in nineteenth-century America



Debra Hanson, an assistant professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, is an art historian specializing in American art, architecture, and visual culture of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The art and architecture of the U.S. Capitol is a primary research interest, and she has been awarded multiple fellowships from the U.S. Capitol Historical Society to conduct research at the Capitol. Hanson has written and presented extensively on the intersection of art, architectural space, politics, and historical memory within the Capitol.