America's Founding Documents

1936 Faulkner Murals

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The National Archives Building’s architect, John Russell Pope, designated space for two large murals in the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom. These oil-on-canvas paintings were executed  by artist Barry Faulkner between 1933 and 1936. Faulkner created allegorical (symbolic or metaphorical) scenes depicting the writing and adoption of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. These massive murals, each about the size of a city bus (14 feet by 37.5 feet),  add life and color to the space.

Click on the images below to identify the historic figures in each painting. Learn about the history and development of the Faulkner murals and their 2002 restoration.