South Extension Pediment Sculpture

U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C.

During the exterior stone restoration campaign of the U.S. Capitol Building, South (House) Extension, our conservators performed conservation repairs to the East facing pediment sculpture group, Apotheosis of Democracy. This work occurred over the course of 2019-2020.

Similar to the North Extension pediment, the Capitol’s South Extension pediment is enriched by the major program of sculpture that speaks to the history, development, and values that underlie this country. This was the last major sculptural program for the Capitol exterior, being completed more than half a century after the North Extension group. The sculpture group was carved in white Georgia marble by Paul Wayland Bartlett from 1914 – 1916.

Prior to beginning work on the sculpture group, our team performed a condition assessment, in order to develop a scope of work that included: cleaning, stain removal, removal and replacement of bird deterrent system, removal and replacement of joint mortars and sealants, and conservation repairs. The conservation repairs, then included laser cleaning, consolidation, crack injection grouting, application of a shelter coat, stabilization of fragile elements, and rebuilding and replacement of lost features.