Catching Up with the Curator: Watch Meeting–Dec. 31st 1862–Waiting for the Hour

To mark African American History Month, as well as the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, we talked with White House Curator Bill Allman about a painting called Watch Meeting–Dec. 31st 1862–Waiting for the Hour that hangs near the Oval Office in the West Wing.

The painting, completed in 1863 by William Carlton, shows a group of African American men, women and children waiting for the clock to strike midnight — the hour the Emancipation Proclamation would go into effect.

Check it out, and learn why President Obama chose this painting to hang in the West Wing.


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