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The Winter Art Show

May 2023
1min read

August 12, 1898: at the cud of a war of minute duration and immense consequences, the representatives of the United States and Spain put their names to the armistice that makes Cuba independent, cedes us Puerto Rico, and allows American troops access to the Philippines, where in a series of notably ugly little campaigns they will in time put down an uprising that began against the Spanish. The industrialist Henry Clay Frick gave the painting—by the French artist Theobald Chartran—to the White House, whose occupant, Theodore Roosevelt, declared it “a beauty.” Standing before the window in his Cabinet Room. President McKinley looks majestically down at Secretary of State William R. Day. The man signing the treaty seems somber in defeat, but in fact, it’s no skin off his nose: he is Jules Cambon, the French ambassador to the United States, acting on behalf of Spain.

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