The Museum of Fine Arts' Currier & Ives lecture series will continue on February 18, at 2 p.m., with "Currier & Ives' Greatest Hits," presented by Robert K. Newman, proprietor of The Old Print Shop in New York City. The talk is free with museum admission.
Currier & Ives was America's longest running printing establishment, publishing more than 7,000 thousand images over seven decades. From the beginning, the company made prints for popular consumption, and their lithographs hung on the walls of America=s homes, stores, barbershops, firehouses, barrooms and barns. The images represented every phase of American life in the 19th century and included such themes as country life; American scenic wonders; leisure pastimes such as hunting, yachting and horse racing; portraits of famous personalities; heroic activities such as firefighting; westward expansion; and important moments in history. Newman will discuss the two different "Best 50" lists of Currier & Ives prints, one compiled in the 1930s and one in the 1980s. He will show between 40 and 60 images. The Old Print Shop was founded in 1898. Newman worked summers at the shop during the 1970s and joined the staff after graduating from college in 1979. He received a BFA in photography but spent most of his time learning printmaking and art history. He is currently president of The Old Print Shop, Inc., and sits on the boards of the International Fine Print Dealers Association and the American Historical Print Collectors Society. A question and answer period will follow the lecture, and coffee and cookies will be served. The lecture series is co-sponsored by the American Historical Print Collectors Society and is funded by a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The final program in the series will be held on February 25 when Daniel Czitrom, professor of history at Mount Holyoke College, will present "Currier & Ives and the Emergence of American Mass Media."