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

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

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  • 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

American Art, Gallery 169


Samuel Jones


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


United States




Oil on mahogany panel


48.4 × 60 cm (19 1/6 × 22 1/6 in.)

Credit Line

Restricted gift of 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


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 .


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