Michele & Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts, Alpert Gallery of Currier & Ives, First Floor
Nathaniel Currier and James Merritt Ives branded their company as the creators of “cheap and popular prints” marketed towards middle class Americans. When the firm closed in 1907 as a result of advancing technology, the advent of photography and changes in popular taste, much of their material was considered out of date. However, after the World War I many Americans yearned for simpler times and sought comfort in nostalgic images. The availability and cost of original prints led to a surge in merchandise created with Currier and Ives imagery as well as reproductions of the original images.
This exhibition explores the connoisseurship for Currier and Ives prints which has grown over the last century. The images which inspired 20th century artists and collectors to create Currier and Ives themed works will be juxtaposed against original 19th century influences for the firm’s designs. A special segment will be dedicated to authenticity, examining the differences between original and reproduced Currier and Ives lithographs.