Currier ives

DEFINITION

A lithography firm opened by Nathaniel Currier in 1834. it became the most famous and longest-operating printing company in America, generating more than 7500 images. The name remains synonymous with ???truly American??? images, beginning with disaster-subject prints and moving onto sentimental and social realist genre, portraits of founding father???s, colonial-era images, Revolutionary and Civil War pictures, maritime, trains and Western frontier expansion. The company???s first widely circulated print, ???Ruins of the Merchants??? Exchange N.Y. after the Destructive Conflagration of Decbr. 16 & 17, 1835???, was an illustration of the 1834 fire that destroyed much of New York???s business district. Perceiving that disaster subjects sold, the firm created more prints and made those as well as others available to the public at an affordable price. Currier had several business partners, but James Merritt Ives was the most significant in that he encouraged most of the print subjects that generated the company???s lasting reputation. In addition to images created by both Currier and Ives, many well-known artists worked for Currier & Ives including Eastman Johnson, Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait, Louis Maurer, James Butterworth, William Aiken Walker, Napoleon Sarony and George Durrie. In June 2006, the Museum of Fine Art in Springfield, Massachusetts held an exhibition of hand-colored lithographs titled ???Currier & Ives: An American Panorama???. Sources: Heather Haskell & Liz Sommer, ???Currier & Ives: An American Panorama???, ???American Art Review???, November-December 2005.

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