Horatio Greenough's "Enthroned Washington" is one of the more controversial sculptures located on the Mall. Congress commissioned the statue in honor of Washington's 100th Birthday and was installed in the Capitol Rotunda in 1841. Many legislators objected to Washington's semi-nude state, believing it was not appropriate for an American president. Congress voted to move it outside of the Capitol to the east lawn in 1842. This photograph shows that even if it was controversial, it was still visited by residents and tourists. In 1908, the statue left the Capitol grounds to became part of the Smithsonian's collection and was moved to the "Castle." It remained there until 1962 when it crossed the Mall to the National Museum of American History, where it remains today.
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, View original
A marble statue depicting George Washington in classical style. Washington is dressed in a toga and sandals, holding a sheathed sword in his left hand. His right hand is raised.
National Museum of American History