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Accession Number 1950.001
Catalog Number 1950.001.001
Object Name Painting
Title Dawn of a New Light painting
Description Large-scale oil-on-canvas painting depicting three stages in the life of Thomas Edison. Edison (1847-1931), was born in Ohio, and lived in several other states throughout his life. The painting shows a mature Edison seated at a desk with papers, letters and notes. On one side is the home in Milan, Ohio, where he was born. Below that is a young Edison selling newspapers. Behind the central figure to the right is Edison as inventor in his mid-years. On his desk is an Ediphone and a phonograph, two of his inventions.

The winged figure may represent inspiration for the inventor; it may also be a literal depiction of a sculpture given to Edison by the French government titled "The Spirit of Life."

Date 1950
Artist Christy, Howard Chandler, 1873-1952
Dimensions H-9 W-12 feet
People Edison, Thomas A., 1847-1931
Signed Name Howard Chandler Christy
Sig Loc Lower right
Image size 12 feet x 9 feet
Frame desc Later frame of milled and fluted cove-molded wood, accented with gilded ribbon, the liner with rope-twisted carved detai
Provenance Privately owned electric utility companies contributed money to pay for the "Dawn of a New Light" painting after a conversation that asked, "What Ohioan made the greatest contribution to posterity?" The painting is a tribute to Thomas Edison.

The companies included the Ohio Power Company, the Cleveland Electric Illuminatng Company, Ohio Edison Company, Ohio Public Service Company, Central Light Power Company, Dayton Light and Power Company, Toledo Edison Company, Columbus & Southern Ohio Electric Company and the Cincinnati Gas & Electric Company.

The painting was taken down in 1964, rolled on a cardboard tube and stored at the Ohio Historical Society until it was conserved in 2001.

The painting currently hangs in the east stairway of the Ohio Statehouse, opposite the Treaty of Greenville.

The Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board took over the care of the Statehouse and its collections in 1988.
Search Terms Dawn of a New Light
Subjects Electricity
Collection Statehouse Artwork Collection