Thomas Crawford (1813–1857) was the first American sculptor to study in Italy for an extended period of time. There, along with other artists—Greenough, Story, and Powers—he was part of a group that made prolific contributions to American neoclassical art. He is best known as the sculptor of much of the statuary and bas-reliefs of our nation’s Capitol: the pediment figures over the Senate and of the House of Representatives, and the bronze Freedom atop the Capitol’s dome.
In writing this biography, Robert Gale was given exclusive access to all of Crawford’s personal papers by the sculptor’s granddaughter. An appendix lists extant works of Crawford and where they are found, and several plates illustrate his sculpture.