The nation's first federally-commissioned monument, Horatio Greenough's huge marble statue of George Washington, sits near the entrance of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. Meant to be the symbolic focus of the whole continent--at the very center of the US Capitol--the monument instead seems a sadly curious relic.
Harry Rand serves as Senior Curator, Cultural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C. He was formerly Chairman, Department of 20th Century Painting and Sculpture, National Museum of American Art. He has authored or co-authored more than thirteen books and fifty articles on art, culture, poetry, and theology.