This engraving by Alexander Hay Ritchie was made after Daniel Huntington’s painting, The Republican Court (Lady Washington’s Reception Day) (1861). Huntington was commissioned to create it expressly for reproduction as a marketable print. To differentiate between the two, the print was retitled. They both depict a gathering of notables at one of Lady Washington’s Friday evening receptions in Philadelphia. Created on the eve of the Civil War, the images honor an ideal of an earlier America in which the President and Mrs. Washington were esteemed with the highest regard. They were created when interest in American historical themes—and Washington subjects in particular—had reached new heights.
Alexander Hay Ritchie, Lady Washington’s Reception, 1867. Gift of Randi and Mark Thistlewaite. Engraving, 2011.21, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas.