ONE OF THE GREAT EVENTS IN NORFOLK HISTORY

 

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AUTHOR:

BOWMAN, SAMUEL W

TITLE:

International Naval Rendezvous Hampton Roads, Va. April and May 1893.

CONDITION:

Chromolithograph, 30” x 42”. Manuscript notation along upper margin. Minor repairs, an a bit of soiling, primarily to margins.

DATE:

Norfolk, 1893

DESCRIPTION:

A spectacular birds-eye view of Hampton Roads as seen from the South.

The elaborate and highly detailed image depicts Norfolk and Portsmouth in the foreground and Newport News and Hampton, and the Chesapeake Bay as the backdrop, while Hampton Roads filled with warships itself is shown at center. Vignettes of the Monitor and the Merrimac, the Trades Parade, and a Yacht Race enhance the views decorative appeal and documentary value.

The International Naval Rendezvous was one of the great events in Norfolk and Hampton Roads history. Authorized by Congress in 1890 to commemorate the 400th arrival of Christopher Columbus in the New World, it was held in conjunction with the opening of the Chicago Columbian exhibition in 1893. Thirty-eight warships from ten nations participated, a minor diplomatic triumph, as many of the countries were fierce rivals (Germany and Great Britain, for example). It was the greatest accumulation of warships since Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887. One hundred American companies participated in an associated Trade Parade through downtown Norfolk, which the commemorated in an inset at lower right, and fifty thousand visitors were packed into Norfolk and the neighboring communities.

In the upper margin the words “The egg from which the Exhibition was hatched” were written in blue pencil by an early hand. This is believed to refer to the Jamestown Centennial Exhibition held in Norfolk in 1907, which was inspired by the success of the International Naval Review.

There are examples of this print in the Hampton Roads Naval Museum and the Library of Congress, which has two copies, one printed in black and white.

REFERENCES:

Inventory No. 8711

Cohen & Taliaferro

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