Friday, February 23
John M. Olin Library, Level 1, Declaration of Independence Chamber
One of the most iconic images in the American memory is John Trumbull’s Declaration of Independence. The painting was commissioned by Congress in 1817 and today resides in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda, along with other large-scale works depicting American historical events.
Trumbull depicted forty-two of the fifty-six signers, in addition to several others who participated in the debate but did not sign. Trumbull’s scene illustrates not the signing, but the presentation of the proposed Declaration by the “Committee of Five” (John Adams, Roger Sherman, Robert R. Livingston, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin) to John Hancock, President of the Continental Congress.