A Gala Graphic Arts Celebration of The March of General George Washington & The American Revolutionary Army in Newark in November of 1776
Main Library - Third Floor Gallery
The exhibition celebrates George Washington’s Revolutionary Army journey in Newark in November 1776 and also features prints by Newark and New Jersey artists of today and yesterday. Original prints, autographs, historic posters and maps from The Special Collections Division are highlighted.
View a wealth of materials on The City of Newark and The Garden State, including prints and other Works of art on paper, spanning the generations for 230 years: 1776-2006.
The exhibition is curated by William J. Dane.
In late November of 1776 during desperate times in the Revolution, George Washington spent several days in the town before moving rapidly to Pennsylvania to escape British forces determined to defeat the American cause. This historic event 230 years ago is prominently featured in an exhibit of prints, posters, sheet music, trade and period greeting cards from The Library’s Special Collections Division on Washington Park in downtown Newark’s Cultural Center.
A bronze equestrian statue of Washington standing next to his horse by Scottish-American sculptor, J. Massey Rhind (1860-1936) was dedicated in 1916 on Broad Street to the delight of Newark residents and suburbanites.
There are also trade and seasonal greeting cards with historic value from Ballantine’s, Bamberger’s, Hahne’s, and coal and delivery firms in the early years of the 20th century. Autographed documents and letters from Revolutionary figures include Thomas Paine, Elias Boudinot, Alexander Hamilton and John Hancock who appointed a Massachusetts citizen to the rank of second lieutenant in 1776. Several large pen and ink drawings depict Newark scenes during the War. These were prepared for publication in newspapers many years ago. Sheet music covers for songs proclaiming the history of Newark as a vintage American town and city are also on display along with government sponsored posters from 1976, our bicentennial year, citing the amazing record of battles, military skirmishes and deadly encounters which took place in our state which was "The Crossroads of The American Revolution." The Newark march took place at one of the lowest points in the War when our soldiers left bloodstains on ice-covered roads as they had no shoes or adequate footware for winter weather. Supplies for everything had run out.
Original prints by Newark and New Jersey artists showing various sites in the Garden State are carefully selected for a variety of techniques and iconography. Works by artists who lived or worked in Newark include Helen Frank, Adolf Konrad, Florian Jenkins, Robert Conover, Thomas Moran from the 19th century, Luigi Rist who is nationally celebrated for his flower and vegetable studies using the Japanese color woodblock method to perfection. Six lithographs by Lucille Hobbie of the Morristown area include Tempe Wick’s House from Revolutionary times. Other artists whose works are displayed include Bill Murphy, Clare Romano, Louis Lozowick, Joseph Konopka, John Carsman, Michael W. Pyrdsa, Jorgen Jorgenson and a nostalgic oil painting by Mr. Jerry Floyd plus Jersey Shore scenes by Winslow Homer.
A handsome photographic portrait of the greatest inventor, Thomas A. Edison, is on view with his signature and precisely clear date in 1902. Mr. Edison at one time had a factory and laboratory near the Library in downtown Newark. Two color lithographs of Newark in 1874 show how historic prints can fade and change over generations of exposure. One of these was a gift from Thomas Watson, president of IBM and it was the enormous growth of the city as an industrial center with shipping and factory buildings in profusion along the Passaic River. Our downtown parks are clearly delineated as they still are today and many older church spires are still extant today.
Newark’s elegant Beaux-Arts City Hall opened in late 1906. The architects were John H. Ely (1851-1932) and his son, Wilson C. Ely. An enlargement of a Christmas card greeting around 1906 shows that nearly all ground transportation was horse-drawn in that era. A 2006 pen and ink drawing was commissioned by the Special Collections Division of The Library by New Jersey artist, Richard LaRovere and this is a most accurate depiction of the monumental building of today which has been splendidly restored both inside and on the exterior for housing Newark’s municipal government offices and services.
This exhibit is free and open to visitors during library hours. For additional details and special arrangements, please call The Library at 973-733-7745.
©2006 The Newark Public Library