First Lady Biden Selects Painting By Black Artist For Capitol Rotunda


During the Capitol Rotunda gift-giving ceremony, a painting by Robert S. Duncanson was unveiled as a gift from First Lady Dr. Jill Biden

Duncanson, a native of Cincinnati, Ohio painted “Landscape with Rainbow” in 1859, just before the start of the Civil War. 

Dr. Biden reportedly assisted Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri chose a gift for the ceremony, according to a report by WKYC

Sen. Blunt described Duncanson as “the best known African American painter during the years of the Civil War.” 

The Smithsonian American Art Museum donated the artwork for the historic day. 

“Duncanson’s vision of rural America as Arcadia, a landscape akin to paradise, is a characteristic feature of his work, a late hope for peace before the onset of Civil War,” the Museum wrote to describe the piece.

During his life, Duncanson travelled across Europe, developing his craft for landscape painting in England, Scotland, and Italy. He achieved success throughout the 1850s and 1860s before his death in 1872.

Dr. Biden told the crowd at the ceremony she selected Duncanson’s work because “I like the rainbow, good things to follow.”

Photo: Getty Images