Currier and Ives exhibit at Albany Institute

Currier and Ives lexington

"Awful Conflagration of the Steam Boat Lexington," a lithograph printed by Nathaniel Currier. The Lexington was a luxury steam ship that caught fire and sunk in 1840.

Opening this Saturday (February 9) at the Albany Institute of History and Art: The Legacy of Currier & Ives, an exhibit that includes 64 prints from the famous 19th century printing and publishing firm. Blurbage:

The exhibition, organized around five themes of Identity, Progress, Home, Success, and Artist, introduces the visitor to the firm of Currier & Ives and illustrates, through interpretive and educational materials, how their imagery became ingrained in the national consciousness. During the seventy-two years that Currier & Ives operated (1834-1907) the firm produced more than 8,000 lithographs. Their colorful prints, which hung in homes and public buildings across America, gave testimony to the events and ideas that shaped national history, its progress, and art. Currier and Ives worked with several prominent artists like Eastman Johnson, Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait, and George Henry Durrie, whose designs are represented in the exhibition along with others.

The story behind the firm Currier and Ives is interesting -- it specialized in identifying images that would be popular and then producing them inexpensively. We bet Nathaniel Currier and James Merritt Ives would have been all over the web if they were operating today (CurrierIvesFeed?).

The Albany Institute exhibit runs through June 15. It could make a pretty good double bill with the also-currently-open Making of the Hudson River School exhibit.

The Albany Institute advertises on AOA.

image: "Awful Conflagration of the Steam Boat Lexington," from the Michele and Donald D'Amour Museum of Fine Arts, Springfield, Massachusetts

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