Unattributed. "1776, Centennial International Exhibition, 1876."
New York: H. Schile, 1875. Lithograph. 19 x 25 1/2. Several repaired tears in margins and one four inch tear into image left hand side. Print has been professionally conserved and backed with rice paper. Else, good condition.
This is a nice example of one of the most attractive and interesting of the views of the buildings of the Centennial. New York publisher H. Schile's lithograph combines the various threads of meaning inherent in the Centennial. The center panel of the print shows the proposed main exhibition building in Fairmount Park, flags flying, surrounded by hordes of visitors, and even graced by a ethereal hot air balloon floating above. Above this image in the center is a symbolic figure representing America, holding the flag and flanked by the American eagle, as well as symbols of mechanics and agriculture. Around the center image are panels showing important scenes from American history, including episodes from the Revolution, the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War and the Civil War. Also shown are vignette scenes of Independence Hall and the exhibition's art gallery (present-day Memorial Hall). This print encapsulates, then, the meaning of the Centennial to Americans in 1875-76. Its pleasing appearance, scarcity, and historic interest makes it one of the most desirable of all Centennial prints.