TRENTON, N.J. – Wells Fargo announced today that it is loaning a famous N.C. Wyeth mural owned by the bank to Thomas Edison State College in Trenton.
The need for Wells Fargo to find a new home for the mural, which depicts George Washington’s visit through Trenton on his way to his 1789 New York presidential inauguration, is being necessitated by the bank’s relocation of its 1 West State Street retail banking store to across the street in Capital Center at 50 East State Street. The smaller bank location opens October 28 and will not be able to accommodate the large painting.
“This mural is an important part of Trenton history and it was always our desire to keep it in the city in a space where people could continue to enjoy it,” said Brenda Ross-Dulan, Wells Fargo’s Southern New Jersey regional president. “We are delighted that Thomas Edison State College has agreed to prominently display this mural at its West State Street campus.”
The oil on canvas mural formally titled, “Reception to Washington on April 21, 1789, at Trenton on his way to New York to Assume the Duties of the Presidency of the United States” was commissioned in 1930 by First Mechanics National Bank (a legacy company of Wells Fargo) and, since then, has been on display at 1 West State Street. The mural, which measures approximately 17 feet tall by 12 feet wide, was professionally moved over the weekend and is now located in the atrium of Thomas Edison State College’s main entrance, at 101 West State Street, and is easily accessible to the general public.
“We are honored to house this historic work of art and continue to make it available to residents and visitors of Trenton and Mercer County,” said Dr. George A. Pruitt, president of Thomas Edison State College. “It is fitting that the mural is located so close to the site of the Battle of Trenton, where Washington led the Continental Army to a historic victory that helped turned the tide of the Revolution.”
N.C. Wyeth, who lived from 1882 to 1945, was one of America's greatest illustrators. During his lifetime, Wyeth created over 3,000 paintings and illustrated 112 books. According to the Brandywine River Museum’s N.C. Wyeth Catalog, the artist used an article published in the Columbian Magazine on April 25, 1789 that describes Washington’s entrance into Trenton as a reference for the mural’s creation, which he painted in his studio in Chadds Ford, Pa.
Earlier this year, Wells Fargo assessed the 10,000-square-foot-space at the 1 West State Street store in Trenton, and determined that the Capital Center location better suits the bank’s long-term needs. The trend in banking is to operate in smaller spaces in the 5,000-square-foot range to 3,000-square-foot range.
“Our customers will not be impacted at all and our Trenton retail community banking store presence and staffing remains the same,” said Dulan. “The new location provides customers with enhanced services such as 24-hour ATM access, which was not available at the 1 West State Street location.”