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Ticketed Talk

Washington Crossing the Delaware: Art in the Service of Politics

Washington Crossing the Delaware

H. Barbara Weinberg, Alice Pratt Brown Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture, The American Wing

Emanuel Leutze's representation of a critical episode in the American Revolution has been associated with other key historical moments. For example, when it was painted in Düsseldorf in 1851, it was relevant to the ongoing campaigns for democracy and unification in Germany. During the Civil War, it was enlisted as a reassuring emblem of American heroism and the Union cause. This lecture traces some of the roles that Washington Crossing the Delaware has played in relation to changing political contexts, up to the present.

This series is made possible by the Clara Lloyd-Smith Weber Fund.

Above: Emanuel Leutze (American 1816–1868). Washington Crossing the Delaware, 1851. Oil on canvas; 149 x 255 in. (378.5 x 647.7 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of John Stewart Kennedy, 1897 (97.34)

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