Michele & Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts, Lenore B. and Sidney A. Alpert Currier & Ives Gallery, First Floor
Currier & Ives are known for their idealized images of rural life in America. In keeping with this theme, the firm created many “parlor” prints of young children interacting with household pets and barnyard companions.
Puppies, kittens, rabbits, chickens and sparrows were part of the bucolic imagery associated with youth and the happy life in the country. Some of the images were “puzzle pictures” with hidden figures drawn into the background of the print. Children and parents would make a game of searching for the hidden images together. One of these, The Puzzled Fox, is one of only a few Currier & Ives prints that includes an image of the now-extinct passenger pigeon.
Other prints honor working household pets, such as dogs which rid the home and yard of rats, while others celebrated favorite farm animals.