CAPTURING A MOMENT IN HISTORY

Emanuel Leutze -- Washington Crossing the Delaware (1851)
Frederick Childe Hassam --
Allies Day, May 1917 (1917)
An English historian incredulously wrote of the Revolutionary War's Battle of Trenton,  "It is doubtful whether so
small a number of men in so short a space of time had greater results upon the history of the world".  Seventy-five
years after the actual event, the story of Washington's pivotal victory over incredible odds inspired German-born
artist Emanuel Leutze to paint his version of
Washington Crossing the Delaware.  In time, this painting became the
image of the crossing, and even today it is one of America's favorite historical works -- although there are few who
can recall the artist's name!  It is known the world over, as well: several years ago when representatives from The
People's Republic of China visited the Metropolitan Museum where the painting hangs, it was the one artwork they
all recognized.

In 1917, American Impressionist painter Frederick Childe Hassam painted pictures that heralded America's entrance
into another war -- World War I.  In patriotic fervor, flags of the Allied nations were hung up and down Fifth Avenue
in New York City -- and in his own spirit of patriotism, Hassam captured their images on canvas.  
Allies Day, May
1917
recreates the actual event, but transformed by Hassam's artistry into a symbol of unity, glowing with a feeling
of optimism that together the Allies would prevail.   

With each of these paintings we might think of the artist as a "human camera", bringing us face to face with our
ancestors or illustrating the events that shaped lives and cultures.  In this presentation of
GalleryTime, we see how
Hassam and Leutze succeeded in capturing a moment of history in their paintings -- and how they inevitably brought
something of themselves to their work as well.   
Washington Crossing the Delaware



                   Allies Day, May 1917