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Meet the Masters

Grade Five

ARTIST: PRINT:

CURRIER & IVES

(Currier, 1813-1888; Ives, 1824-1895)

ACROSS THE CONTINENT (WESTWARD THE COURSE OF EMPIRE TAKES ITS WAY) MUSEUM OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK

Americana Date: 1862 Size: 20.1" x 27.3" Medium: Lithograph

ARTIST - Nathaniel Currier, published a highly colored print of the burning of the steamboat "Lexington" in Long Island Sound, three days after the disaster in 1840. The edition sold like wildfire; he became the most important publisher of colored engravings. James Ives joined the firm in 1852, and the firm became Currier & Ives in 1857.

The prints were lithographs, hand colored using a mass production system. For nearly 50 years

they

published

about

three

new

prints

each

week

on

every

aspect

of

American

life.

These

lithographs featured portraits of notables, Wild West, Indians, sporting and pioneering and other disasters, the Civil War, temperance and political tracts. These lithographs the farthest confines of the land and also had considerable sales abroad.

scenes, fires reached into

PRINT - In Across the Continent, Currier & Ives depict a typical small village clustered near a railroad station. The houses and other buildings are all rustic, similar to log cabins. In the background you see covered wagons pulling out of town as if they're about to begin a journey. The men in the foreground are at work cutting down trees. One of the men has taken a moment to watch as the train passes. In the town you see the people coming out of the building to watch the train as well. The children running out of the school are particularly excited by this event. To the right of the train, seen just in front of the smoke, are two Indians on horses, gazing at the train. It would be interesting to know what they thought of the train.

PORTFOLIO F PAIRED WITH:

STELLA THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE

217

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