Architect John Russell Pope placed four monumental statues around the National Archives Building. Each was cut from a single block of limestone weighing 125 tons. Aitken's "The Future" sits on the Pennsylvania Avenue side of the building. The young woman lifts her eyes from the pages of an open book and gazes into the future. Its base is inscribed with a line inspired by Shakespeare’s play The Tempest: "What is Past is Prologue."
Designed and modeled by Robert I. Aitken
Carved by the Piccirilli Brothers Company
National Archives and Records Administration
Records of the National Archives and Records Administration
Record Group 64