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Object Name: Textile fragment
Date: 1783
Related People:
Medium: Cotton
Dimensions: Overall: 37 x 30 1/2 in. ( 94 x 77.5 cm )
Place made: Europe, England
Description: Cotton copperplate-printed textile fragment with a personification of America presenting medallions with images of George Washington and his staff to a personification of Liberty on an altar holding a staff topped by a liberty cap, with George Washington being crowned with laurel wreath by a winged-Victory and cupids in clouds above; printed in red on a white ground.
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. J. Insley Blair
Object Number: 1941.112
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Marks: printed: all over: "WASHINGTON AND/ INDEPENDENCE/ AMERICA PRESENTING AT THE/ ALTER OF LIBERTY MEDALLIONS/ OF HER ILLUSTRIOUS SONS/ GEN GATES/ GEN REED/ GEN WASHINGTON/ B. FRANKLIN/ ..."

Gallery Label:

This printed textile, intended for use as window curtains, bed hangings or upholstery, depicts the allegorical figure of America presenting Liberty with medallion portraits of thirteen heroes of American independence, including Benjamin Franklin. George Washington is shown crowned by the winged figure of Victory.

The design of this textile is based upon the following prints: "General Washington" engraved by Valentine Green from the original painting by Trumball, published in London, 1781; medallion portraits from the drawings of Pierre Eugune du Simitiere and engraved by Benoit Louis Prevost, Burnett Reading, and B.B.E., and published by William Richardson, London 1783 and R. Wilkenson, London 1783; medallion portrait of Franklin from the engraving byHeath. The portrait of Adams cannot be traced.

Bibliography:

Collins, Herbert Ridgeway. Threads of History: Americana Recorded on Cloth, 1775 to the Present. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1979.

Montgomery, Florence M. Printed Textiles: English and American Cottons and Linens, 1700-1850. New York: Viking, 1970.

Exhibitions:

"Revolution! The Atlantic World Reborn," New-York Historical Society, September 11, 2011-April 15, 2012.

"American Scenes and Events on Textiles," New-York Historical Society, September 30-November 30, 1941.