The short-lived Dewey Arch lives on in this commemorative textile by Hamilton Print Works. The triumphal arch was erected in Madison Square in Manhattan and stood from 1899 to 1900. Inspired by the Arch of Titus in Rome, it was built for the parade honoring Admiral George Dewey (American, 1837–1917) for his 1898 victory in the Battle of Manila Bay in the Philippines. Plans for a September parade began in spring 1899, and architect Charles R. Lamb (American, 1860–1942) gathered support from the National Sculpture Society for the creation of the triumphal arch. The Society, of which Lamb was a member, formed a committee and proposed the construction project to the city. Approved in July, only months before the parade, the arch and colonnade were built of staff, a type of artificial stone that had been previously used on the temporary buildings of various international expositions. The choice was not unusual given that the Washington Square Arch by Stanford White (American, 1853–1906) had been preceded by such a temporary structure made of a similar material. After Dewey’s parade on September 30, 1899, the structure began to rapidly deteriorate and attempts to replace it with a permanent arch failed to generate the same enthusiasm that made the Washington Square Arch possible. The structure was dismantled and destroyed in 1900.
The textile is a printed patchwork with diamond shapes and borders that suggest stitch work. Hamilton Print Works was part of the Hamilton Manufacturing Company and was the second mill complex established by the firm at Lowell, Massachusetts. The company was purchased by Pacific Mills of Lawrence, Massachusetts in 1910.