Open Letter to the trustees of TESU Regarding Wyeth Paining


   P.O. Box 7455, Trenton, NJ 08628

August 9, 2022

An Open Letter to the President and Trustees of

Thomas Edison State University

Since 1918 the Kiwanis Club of Trenton has worked to improve the lives of Trenton children, helping to build stronger communities and a foundation for a brighter future. We look to our City’s rich and diverse history for inspiration and recognize its essential role in the development of our nation’s ideals. Our history – Trenton’s history – continues to point the way to where we aspire to be as a community.

We are deeply disappointed by your stated intention to sell an important part of this history. As the custodian of N.C. Wyeth’s “Reception to Washington on April 21, 1789, at Trenton” Thomas

Edison State University has been entrusted with a work of art of great significance to our City. With this trust comes a responsibility to preserve both the artwork as well as the context within which it is presented. This context is the City of Trenton itself. Just as Washington came to Trenton because of its place in the fabric of our fledgling democracy, so too should future generations come to Trenton because of what our City can teach them about the course of history

and its impact on their lives today. Trentonians and visitors alike should continue to have the opportunity to view Wyeth’s “Reception to Washington” in Trenton, as it was intended.

We urge you to reconsider your attempt to sell Wyeth’s “Reception to Washington.” If the University is unable to serve as the painting’s custodian, then another suitable location within the City of Trenton should be identified as soon as possible. Please do not hesitate to contact us if we can assist in ensuring the painting’s permanent presence in Trenton. We hope that the University can continue to share in a collective commitment to historic preservation with the Kiwanis Club of Trenton and all who recognize and appreciate the priceless benefits it brings to our


Very truly,

Clifford P. Kirsch