Curtain

Object Number: 
1941.99d
Date: 
1790-1800
Medium: 
Cotton, linen
Dimensions: 
Overall: 85 x 28 1/2 x 1 in. ( 215.9 x 72.4 x 2.5 cm )
Marks: 
printed: on banner held by Franklin: WHERE LIBERTY / DWELLS THERE IS / MY COUNTRY" printed: on temple frieze: "TEMPLE OF FAME" printed: on shield held by allegorical figure seated next to Washington: "AMERICAN / INDEPEND- / -ANCE. / 1776"
Description: 
Cotton copper-engraved curtain with the apotheosis of Benjamin Franklin depicted in red on white ground; additional figures include a personification of liberty standing next to Franklin and a female warrior holding a shield with thirteen stars floating in the air on his opposite side, George Washington standing upright in a chariot drawn by a pair of leopards and led by two Native Americans blowing trumpets and waving banners, and a pair of cupids holding between them an oval map showing the Atlantic Ocean and the eastern half of North America; linen backing.
Gallery Label: 
Window and bed hangings printed with patriotic imagery frequently adorned the homes of upper-class Americans in the late eighteenth century. This curtain, part of a set, elevates the nation's leading heroes, Benjamin Franklin and George Washington, to the exalted rank of gods. The printed fabric depicts Franklin guided towards the Temple of Fame by Athena and Liberty, and Washington driving a leopard-drawn chariot pulling an allegorical figure representing America. A handwritten label associated with this objects reads, "Printed cotton Drapes - Washington and Homespun Bed Hangings from the Beekman Green Room."
Credit Line: 
Gift of Mrs. J. Insley Blair
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group