Waiting for the Hour: The Emancipation Proclamation

March 3, 1980 – February 8, 1981

National Portrait Gallery
8th and G Streets, NW
Washington, DC

2nd Floor, Civil War Bay Floor Plan

This small exhibition takes its name from a painting on loan from the White House, Watch Meeting—December 31, 1862—Waiting for the Hour. The oil by William Tolman Carlton portrays slaves waiting for the appointed hour of their liberation on New Year's Eve. Also on view is an engraving of Frank Carpenter's painting, First Reading Of The Emancipation Proclamation, as well as Lincoln's Cabinet Room chair, which is depicted in the scene. A rare facsimilie of the historic document and portraits of Abolitionists and dissenters are included.