Art: 26 Feet of History

So far as the famous historical frieze in the rotunda of the Capitol is concerned, American history begins with Columbus and ends with the discovery of gold in California in 1848. But for 64 years there has been an unfinished blank space waiting to be painted in. Last week, at the bidding of Congress, Muralist Allyn Cox of Manhattan was busy with a $15,000 commission to bring history up to date—a bit.

Cox's problem: the original muralists, Constantino Brumidi and Filippo Costaggini, had used up 274 ft. of the available 300 in getting from Columbus to the Gold Rush (among the scenes...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!