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Great White Fleet Silk Work

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Zack Miller

The silkwork picture entitled "Washington Crossing the Delaware" was made by the George Washington Company of Yokohama, Japan and measures 25 inches by 42 inches. It was one of several images that were available to sailors of the Great White Fleet that visited Japan and between 1907 and 1909. The original George Washington Company catalogue described this piece as "Embroidered with Silk and pure Gold Thread on the best quality Satin...The Picture of the Washington Crossing the Delaware is painted on silk in Water Colour." The original cost was $10. The company was established in 1880 to sell all sorts of Japanese art goods, especially items popular with the American Navy including embroidered kimonos, tablecloths, shawls, painted cushion covers, oil paintings on canvas, calendars and Christmas cards.

It doesn’t show well in the picture, but the soldiers have distinctly Asian eyes. 





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