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Decorative Arts and Design

This ceramic object celebrates George Washington, the hero of the War of Independence and the first American president. The cult of the Founding Fathers began even while those national heroes were still alive. Washington, in particular, but also Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, enjoyed a celebrity status that is difficult for us to appreciate, even in our age of instant fame and media-generated notoriety. Upon his death in 1799, it was even proposed that Washington be buried in a pyramid in emulation of ancient Egyptian pharaohs.

MAKER Unknown
MEDIUM Glazed earthenware
DATES ca. 1790
DIMENSIONS Height: 5 5/8 in. (14.3 cm) Diameter of Base: 3 1/4 in. (8.3 cm)  (show scale)
CREDIT LINE Bequest of James Hazen Hyde
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Glazed earthenware pitcher (creamware) with transfer-printed black decoration. Map of America with Washington, Liberty and Franklin on one side. On the other side, a poem in a reserve surrounded by trophies and a banner saying "Independence" and a wreathed hat saying "Liberty." Condition: Spout chipped and cracked. Some discoloration of glaze.
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Unknown. Pitcher, ca. 1790. Glazed earthenware, Height: 5 5/8 in. (14.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Bequest of James Hazen Hyde, 60.12.70. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 60.12.70_bw.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 60.12.70_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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