Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

Commission For Historical Statues In The United States Capitol

National Statuary Hall
National Statuary Hall. © Architect of the Capitol.

The Commission for Historical Statues in the United States Capitol is charged with determining whether the Robert E. Lee statue in the National Statuary Hall Collection at the United States Capitol should be replaced (which it did recommend) and to recommend to the General Assembly as a replacement a statue of a prominent Virginia citizen of historic renown or renowned for distinguished civil or military service to be commemorated in the National Statuary Hall Collection.

The Commission consists of eight members appointed as follows: one member of the House of Delegates appointed by the Speaker of the House of Delegates; one member of the Senate appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules; two non-legislative citizen members who are Virginia or American historians appointed by the Governor; three non-legislative citizen members appointed upon the vote of the Commission members appointed by the Speaker, the Senate Committee on Rules, and the Governor; and the Director of the Department of Historic Resources (DHR), who serves ex officio with nonvoting privileges. The Department of Historic Resources will provide staff support to the Commission.

The Commission will also be required to (i) select a sculptor for the new statue, with preference given to a sculptor from Virginia; (ii) estimate the costs associated with the replacement of the Robert E. Lee statue, including costs related to construction and placement of the new statue, for the removal and transfer of the Robert E. Lee statue, and for any unveiling ceremony of the new statue; and (iii) recommend to the General Assembly a suitable state, local, or private nonprofit history museum in the Commonwealth for placement of the Robert E. Lee statue.

The bill requires the Commission to hold at least one public hearing prior to making any recommendation to the General Assembly on a new statue and requires the costs of the Commission’s work to be borne by the Commission from such private funds as are collected by the Commission and general funds as are appropriated by the General Assembly.

Comments or questions about the Commission’s work can be submitted to

Most Recent Meeting:

Most Recent meeting of this commission was held in person at the Virginia Museum of History & Culture,
Reynolds Leadership Center – 2 nd Floor, 428 N. Arthur Ashe Boulevard, Richmond on January 4, 2023 from 10 a.m. to – 2:00 p.m.

Past Meetings:

Meeting: July 21, 2022

Meeting: March 3, 2021

Meeting: December 16, 2020

The Commission convened on Dec. 16 and approved a motion to recommend a statue of Barbara Rose Johns for the U.S. Capitol. View a screen video recording of the virtual meeting. Password: 3CrRFUJE

Emails Posted After December 16 meeting:

Meeting: Nov. 17, 2020

  • Video recording of Nov. 17 meeting. Password to access recording: nE3uGWNn

Public Comments Submitted in Advance of Nov. 17 Meeting:

Public Comments Submitted After Nov. 17 Meeting:

Article and Op-Ed of Note from the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

Meeting: October 8, 2020:

Public Documents Submitted in Advance of October 8 Meeting:

Meeting: August 7, 2020:

During the August 7 meeting, the Commission recommended asking the Virginia Museum of History and Culture (VMHC) to accept the R. E. Lee statue for its collections.

Meeting: July 24, 2020:

See “Links”below for more information.

Commission Members

  • Dr. Edward Ayers, Professor of New American History, University of Richmond, (Charlottesville)
  • Dr. Colita Fairfax, Professor & Honors College Senior Faculty Fellow, Norfolk State University, (Hampton)
  • Senator Louise Lucas, 18th District, (Portsmouth)
  • Dr. Fred Motley, (Danville)
  • Anne Richardson, Chief of the Rappahannock, (Indian Neck)
  • Margaret Vanderhye, (McLean)
  • Delegate Jeion Ward, 92nd District, (Hampton)
  • Julie Langan, Director, Dept. of Historic Resources, ex-officio

2020 Meetings’ Minutes

*NOTE: Minutes posted shortly after each meeting are not official (as indicated by the word “DRAFT” at the top of the first page). Official minutes will not be posted until they are approved by the Commission  at the next meeting. Once approved by the Commission, the draft minutes will be removed from the website and the official minutes will be posted (as indicated by the removal of the word “DRAFT”).

Important Links:


Updated January 10, 2023