Skip to Content
Closed now, next open tomorrow. Closed now, next open tomorrow.

Conflagration of the Masonic Hall, Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

A work made of oil on mahogany panel.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

Image actions

  • A work made of oil on mahogany panel.




Samuel Jones
American, 19th century
Possibly John Lewis Krimmel
American, born Germany, 1786–1821

About this artwork

On March 9, 1819, Masonic Hall, built just 8 years earlier, burned to the ground. A Philadelphia publisher commissioned artists Samuel Jones and John Lewis Krimmel to create a composition of the fire’s devastation for distribution as a print (etched by John Hill). Circulation of such sensational events was an early 19th-century means of broadcasting news, expanding the reach of fine arts, and making a profit. Jones painted this work, which served as a study for the print. Krimmel, the nation’s first great genre painter, was hired to refine and amplify the figural scene in the foreground. As the print’s composition reveals significant changes to the figures, it is unknown if Krimmel executed any of the figures here, or if he developed his designs wholly apart from this painting.


On View, Gallery 169


Arts of the Americas


Samuel Jones


Conflagration of the Masonic Hall, Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Philadelphia (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Oil on mahogany panel


48.4 × 60 cm (19 3/16 × 22 3/16 in.)

Credit Line

Purchased with funds provided by Wesley M. Dixon Jr., Jamee J. and Marshall Field, Gloria and Richard Manney, Brooks and Hope B. McCormick Foundation, Mrs. Philip D. Sang, and Jeffrey Shedd; gift of Emily Crane Chadbourne, Leon Mandel, Stella Manheimer, Vena F. Schaaf, and Celia Schmidt by exchange; the Edward E. Ayer, Marian and Samuel Klasstorner, and A.A. McKay funds

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

Learn more.

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions