An extraordinary system of cultural and historic resources.

Idaho State Historical Society State Capitol

Idaho State Historical Society at the Capitol

Capitol Garden Level permanent exhibit

Capitol Garden Level permanent exhibit

Photo Credit: Photograph by Phil McClain

Make your visit to Idaho’s State Capitol more meaningful by experiencing the exhibition, “Governing Idaho: How People and Policies Shape our State" and download this fact sheet to learn the meaning of our state symbols, This exhibit is one of many signature offerings of the Capitol Curation program, directed by the Idaho State Historical Society (ISHS).  The Capitol Curation program includes permanent and changing exhibitions, photographic restoration and reproduction, and preservation services that support the care of the Idaho State Capitol building.

Ongoing Exhibitions

Governing Idaho: How People and Policies Shape our State

Looking for an award-winning exhibit?  Look no farther than the Capitol’s beautiful Garden Level exhibition, Governing Idaho:  How People and Policies Shape our State.  Developed by the Idaho State Historical Society, in 2011 this unique exhibit won a prestigious Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History, the highest award given in the field.  Come learn the story of the construction and restoration of Idaho’s magnificent statehouse.  Challenge yourself with interactive displays featuring the colorful history of state government.  Become inspired to participate more actively in your government.  Detailed information about this exhibit can be found in its accompanying brochure; and a special edition of the Historical Society’s journal, Idaho Landscapes, available at the gift shop adjacent to the exhibit, is completely devoted to the capitol. Detailed information about this exhibition can be found in its accompanying brochure.

Winged Victory

Following World War II, American citizens donated more than $40 million worth of food, clothing, medicine, and other supplies to France.  To reciprocate, French citizens packed 49 boxcars—one for each state and the District of Columbia—full of artwork, cookware, and other unique treasures for America.  Idaho’s boxcar arrived on February 22, 1949, and among the items it contained was a plaster replica of the Greek statute “Winged Victory of Samothrace.” The original rests in the Louvre, but workers carefully unpacked this copy and placed it in the capitol, where it has remained, except for a brief period during the capitol restoration when experts from the Idaho State Historical Society moved and restored it.  Learn more about Idaho’s “Merci Train” boxcar in an exhibit at the Old Idaho Penitentiary.

George Washington statueGeorge Washington

The George Washington Equestrian Statue was carved in 1869 by Charles Ostner, who gave the statue to the Territory of Idaho and its pioneers. The wooden statue was exhibited on the grounds of Capitol Square before being moved inside the Capitol.  In 2007, George was crated, stored on-site, restored and like Winged Victory, now graces the entry to Statuary Hall on the 4th floor.

Hearing Room Photography Collection

Idaho is featured in a collection of reproduction historic photographs, curated especially for the Capitol by ISHS staff.  These can be seen Committee Hearing Rooms in the House and Senate Wings and on the 4th floor of the Capitol building in the House and Senate Caucus Rooms. These photos can be yours as well!  Please check out how to buy photos from the Idaho State Archives.

Portraits of the Governor and Idaho Legislators

This collection features portrait photography of Idaho Governors and Legislators from 1891 to the present. Legislator portraits can be viewed in the House and Senate Wings in the Garden Level, the 3rd and 4th Floors of the House and Senate Chambers, Senate Lounge, and room E413.  The Governor’s collection can be viewed in the hallway outside of the Governor’s office on the second floor of the Capitol.