Hassam, Washington’s Birthday, Fifth Avenue and 23rd Street, 1916
Many Americans responded with enthusiasm to Woodrow Wilson’s preparedness plan announced in January 1916, which addressed the country’s defensive needs for a larger army and navy. The following month, George Washington’s birthday became the occasion for an outpouring of American patriotism, as recorded by artist Childe Hassam. Hassam softens New York’s monolithic Flatiron Building in the shimmering daylight, flanking it by the flag-festooned skyscrapers of lower Fifth Avenue. Hassam was part of a well-organized and energetic union of New York artists who designed posters, paintings, and prints conveying patriotic messages for public display.
Childe Hassam, Washington’s Birthday, Fifth Avenue and 23rd Street, 1916. Etching, 1985.270, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas.