Washington Crossing the Delaware from the series History

Media - 2017.41.9 - SAAM-2017.41.9_1 - 134095
Copied David Levinthal, Washington Crossing the Delaware from the series History, 2013, inkjet print, 61 × 79 in. (154.9 × 200.7 cm), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Donald Standford Rosenfeld, Jr., 2017.41.9, © 2013, David Levinthal

Artwork Details

Washington Crossing the Delaware from the series History
Not on view
61 × 79 in. (154.9 × 200.7 cm)
© 2013, David Levinthal
Credit Line
Gift of Donald Standford Rosenfeld, Jr.
Mediums Description
inkjet print
  • Figure group — male
  • History — United States — Revolution
  • Landscape — river — Delaware River
  • Occupation — political — president
  • Occupation — military — soldier
  • Dress — uniform — military uniform
  • Object — other — flag
  • Architecture — boat — rowboat
  • Portrait male — Washington, George — full length
Object Number

Artwork Description

One of the most repeated stories about the nation's first president is his famous Delaware River crossing on December 25, 1776, during the Revolutionary War. As a general in the Continental army, George Washington led 2,400 soldiers across the river in the middle of the night during a severe snowstorm. Levinthal focuses on the toy figure of Washington standing tall and pointing decisively ahead, unimpeded by ice and wind. The artificiality of the figure is immediately apparent, underscoring the fiction that lies at the heart of how Americans visualize this historic event.


Media - 2017.32.10 - SAAM-2017.32.10_1 - 133751
American Myth & Memory: David Levinthal Photographs 
June 7, 2019October 14, 2019
Populated with toy cowboys and cavalry, Barbie dolls and baseball players, David Levinthal’s photographs reference iconic images and events that shaped postwar American society. Despite their playful veneer, Levinthal’s images provide a lens through which to examine the myths and stereotypes lurking within our most beloved pastimes and enduring heroes. In doing so, Levinthal encourages us to consider the stories we tell about ourselves—what it means to be strong, beautiful, masculine, feminine, and ultimately, American.