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Wells Fargo Donates Historic N.C. Wyeth Painting to TESU

N.C. Wyeth's painting “Reception to Washington on April 21, 1789, at Trenton on his way to New York to Assume the Duties of the Presidency of the United States”

N.C. Wyeth's painting “Reception to Washington on April 21, 1789, at Trenton on his way to New York to Assume the Duties of the Presidency of the United States” now belongs to TESU.

Officials from Wells Fargo and Thomas Edison State University celebrated the University’s most generous gift ever today with the announcement that Wells Fargo has donated a historic N.C. Wyeth painting to the University.

The painting titled “Reception to Washington on April 21, 1789, at Trenton on his way to New York to Assume the Duties of the Presidency of the United States” has been on loan to the University from the bank since 2013. In November, paperwork was finalized to allow the painting to become the sole property of the University.

“N.C. Wyeth’s ‘Reception to Washington’ is an important part of Trenton history, and we have been honored to display it in our foyer for several years,” said Dr. Merodie A. Hancock, president, Thomas Edison State University. “We are extremely happy to receive this beautiful and historic painting from Wells Fargo and look forward to showcasing it even more in the future.”

The oil on canvas mural was commissioned in 1930 by First Mechanics National Bank (a legacy company of Wells Fargo) and had been on display at 1 West State Street. But when the bank moved its downtown branch to the Capital Center at 50 East State St., the new space could not accommodate the 17-foot-tall by 12-feet-wide mural.

“As a financial institution with more than 200 years of history in the state of New Jersey, we understand how important it is to maintain our historical treasures,” said Wells Fargo Region Bank President and Thomas Edison State University Board Member Carlos Arroyo. “We’re thrilled that this heirloom was able to find its home here at TESU, an institution that is doing outstanding work right here in the heart of the state capitol.” 

N.C. Wyeth, who lived from 1882 to 1945, was one of America’s greatest illustrators. During his lifetime, Wyeth created more than 3,000 paintings and illustrated 112 books. According to the Brandywine River Museum’s N.C. Wyeth Catalog, the artist used an article published in the Columbian Magazine on April 25, 1789, that describes Washington’s entrance into Trenton as a reference for the mural’s creation, which he painted in his studio in Chadds Ford, Pa. 

“This extraordinarily generous gift of the beautiful N.C. Wyeth painting represents the most unique gift in our history,” said John T. Thurber, vice president, Public Affairs, Thomas Edison State University. “We are grateful to Wells Fargo for this remarkable expression of support for our mission, which also reflects our shared commitment to Trenton. The painting depicts an important moment in our capital city’s history. It is a great privilege to continue to display it within our Trenton campus, just a short walk from where the events it depicts took place in 1789.”

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Thomas Edison State University provides distinctive undergraduate and graduate education for self-directed adults through flexible, high-quality collegiate learning and assessment opportunities. One of New Jersey’s senior public institutions of higher education, the University offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs. Students earn degrees through a wide variety of rigorous and high-quality academic methods that can be customized to meet their individual needs. Identified by The New York Times as “the college that paved the way for flexibility,” the University is a national leader in the assessment of adult learning and a pioneer in the use of educational technologies. The University is home to The John S. Watson Institute for Public Policy and the New Jersey State Library is an affiliate. To learn more, visit or email

The Thomas Edison State University Foundation, Inc. is a nonprofit 501(c) (3) organization. While independent of Thomas Edison State University, the Foundation operates exclusively for the benefit, support and promotion of the University and its educational activities and may receive and invest bequests, gifts or transfers of property or money, and expend any such funds or property for the institution's educational purposes. To learn more about the Foundation, visit

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.9 trillion in assets. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, investment and mortgage products and services, as well as consumer and commercial finance, through 7,500 locations, more than 13,000 ATMs, the internet ( and mobile banking, and has offices in 32 countries and territories to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 261,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 29 on Fortune’s 2019 rankings of America’s largest corporations. News, insights and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories.

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