General Marion in his Swamp Encampment Inviting a British Officer to Dinner

Various artists/makers

Not on view

In 1838, New York City businessmen and society leaders conceived of an institution to champion living American artists. Incorporated in 1840 as the Apollo Association for the Promotion of the Fine Arts, the group held exhibitions and developed a subscriber base. For five dollars a year, members were given unlimited access to exhibitions, received one finely engraved reproduction of a recent painting, and were entered in a raffle of original art works. In 1840, John Blake White's American Revolutionary War subject (undated, U.S. Senate) was the first work to be chosen. The image shows the American general Francis Marion, known as the "Swamp Fox," offering humble hospitality to a captured British officer. Sartain's related engraving was distributed to 646 subscribers in 1841. In 1844, the Apollo Association merged with and adopted the name of the American Art-Union.

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