Home | Judges of the Court | Court Historical Society | Court of Appeals Hall | Search

Cardozo.jpg (10543 bytes)

The remarkable assemblage of 110 paintings, including a number by some of the best known national and regional artists of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, is displayed in several areas of the Court building, most of them lining the walls  of the Courtroom itself. The portraits depict former Chief Judges and Associate Judges of the Court of Appeals, Chancellors and others associated with the law and the work of the Court. In a sense, the collection represents a comprehensive history of the jurisprudence of New York State.

Not all who have served on the highest tribunal are pictured. Tradition has it that no current member is portrayed. Judges may accept the honor only once they have left the bench.

The first Judge of the Court of Appeals to be appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States was Ward Hunt, who served there from 1873 to 1882. The first and only Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals to be named to the Supreme Court of the United States was Benjamin N. Cardozo, a renowned scholar whose writings are studied to this day throughout the world. Cardozo served on the Court of Appeals as Associate Judge and later Chief Judge from 1914 until he became a Justice of the nation's highest court in 1932.

The larger portraits in the Courtroom are of Chief Judges and the smaller of Associate Judges. Among the widely known artists whose work is part of the collection are Eastman Johnson, Alan Jaspar Conant, John Collin Forbes, Jared Bradley Flagg, Peter Stevens, Asa Weston Twitchell and Betty Warren.

In recent years the Court undertook a portrait conservation and restoration project. The work, including restoration of the frames, was performed by the Bureau of Historic Sites of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Once all the spaces are filled, portraits are moved to the anteroom, already the home of several paintings, including the father-and-son team, Rufus W. Peckham and Rufus W. Peckham Jr., the latter having served on the Supreme Court of the United States from 1896 to 1909.

Benjamin N. Cardozo

Whunt.jpg (6680 bytes)

Ward Hunt

Peckham.jpg (7132 bytes)

Rufus W. Peckham Jr.