Forging the Shaft

John Ferguson Weir American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 774

This painting is a pendant to Weir’s earlier The Gun Foundry (1864–66; Putnam County Historical Society), which depicts the interior of the West Point Iron and Cannon Foundry in Cold Spring, New York. That foundry produced more of the Union Army’s heavy artillery and Parrott guns during the Civil War than any other. Forging the Shaft, painted ten years later, represents the same foundry’s dramatic fabrication of a propeller shaft for an ocean liner. As a veteran of the 7th Regiment New York State Militia, Weir was invested in showcasing the country’s successful transition to postwar industrialization.

Forging the Shaft, John Ferguson Weir (American, West Point, New York 1841–1926 Providence, Rhode Island), Oil on canvas, American

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