The Rockwell Museum recently acquired an oil painting by female artist Elizabeth Remington entitled The Two Kings: Corn and Cotton. Painted just to our north, near Niagara Falls, this verdant agricultural still life was created for the 1876 World’s Fair in Philadelphia. The Centennial Celebration was the first International Exhibition to be hosted in the United States, and it served as the vehicle through which a relatively young America presented itself as an industrial world leader and a unified nation. This period of reconstruction following the Civil War was a crucial time for the United States to demonstrate that they were truly united; thereby promoting confidence in domestic manufacturing, foreign investment, international trade and diplomacy. To a contemporaneous American viewer, the images of corn and cotton would have been recognized as agrarian symbols

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