This engraving, based on a painting by Thomas Hicks, shows a fantasy gathering of prominent American writers. The setting is Classical, with statues of Goethe, Shakespeare and Dante towering over the group. Directly under Shakespeare, presiding over the gathering, is Cooper. Seated in front of Cooper are Irving (r.) and Bryant. Longfellow is at Bryant's right elbow, with Poe and Hawthorne facing opposite each other just behind. Prominent in the right foreground is Stowe. The tall man standing to her right is Emerson.
The faint banding in the photo is a reflection in the shrink-wrap.