The first work of art commissioned for Federal Hall was the statue of George Washington on its grand staircase. One of the most iconic—and photographed—statues in New York City, it is the most famous extra on the global nightly business news standing opposite the New York Stock Exchange. It was commissioned by the illustrious citizens of the city 1881 to commemorate the inauguration of America’s First President on the very spot where he stood.
As the journey of democracy continues in America, the arts are a powerful way for individuals to tell their stories. In collaboration with the National Park Service, we have now presented “visiting” exhibitions, inside and outside of Federal Hall, leaving no one behind to probe their own interpretations of the past, the present, and the future of American democracy.