Today in our Instagram #staffpick series, Assistant Curator Ymelda Rivera Laxton chose this 1819 engraving titled 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘊𝘰𝘯𝘧𝘭𝘢𝘨𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘔𝘢𝘴𝘰𝘯𝘪𝘤 𝘏𝘢𝘭𝘭, 𝘊𝘩𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘯𝘶𝘵 𝘚𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘦𝘵, 𝘗𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘢𝘥𝘦𝘭𝘱𝘩𝘪𝘢, engraved by John Hill (1770-1850) after paintings by John Lewis Krimmel (1786-1821) and Samuel Jones.
“On March 9, 1819, the first Masonic Hall in Philadelphia burnt down, just eight years after being erected. This engraving depicts the scene and is so incredibly detailed that it seems both realistic and surreal at the same time. This print was made using the aquatint process, a printmaking technique that produces tonal effects. The detail, outlines, and tones in the engraving are quite breathtaking when you view it in person. The architectural details of the building, the smoke, the people’s faces, and the water shooting over the flames, really transport you to that chaotic and tragic night.” To learn more about the Masonic hall visit our blog: https://bit.ly/3jPv6sg
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