Press Release  November 30, 2020

Revisiting America: The Prints of Currier & Ives

Collection of Joslyn Art Museum (Omaha, NE), Gift of Conagra Brands, 2016.20.397

Charles Parsons (American, b. England, 1821–1910), Lyman W. Atwater (American, 1835–1891), Central Park, Winter. The Skating Pond, 1862. Lithograph.

Omaha, NE – In 2016, ConAgra Foods, Inc. (now Conagra Brands) donated nearly 600 Currier & Ives lithographs to Joslyn Art Museum. Now home to one of the largest public collections of these popular and historically significant images, Joslyn has organized this exhibition that sheds new light on the artistic and commercial practices of the famous firm Currier & Ives.

Collection of Joslyn Art Museum (Omaha, NE), Gift of Conagra Brands, 2016.20.270

Abraham Lincoln: Sixteenth President of the United States, 1861. Lithograph.

Revisiting America: The Prints of Currier & Ives explores how the largest printmaking company in nineteenth-century America visualized the nation’s social, political, and industrial fabric. The exhibition is on view at Joslyn November 21, 2020, through April 11, 2021.

Known today for its lush, hand-colored lithographs that nostalgically depicted a republic of pioneer homesteads, sporting camps, and bucolic pastimes, these sentimental images comprised only one aspect of Currier & Ives’s production. The company’s inexpensive and popular prints were a ubiquitous presence for decades, and just as frequently touched on pressing social and political issues. Addressing economic development, western expansion, the Civil War, and controversies of racial and class politics, Currier & Ives portrayed scenes of urbanization, nation building, naval battles, catastrophic disasters, and current events that were far from idyllic.

Revisiting America is organized into themed sections—Sails, Steam, and Speed; Urban Experiences; Domestic Visions; Sporting Life; The Frontier; The Civil War and the American South; America in War and Peace; and Humor.

Collection of Joslyn Art Museum (Omaha, NE), Gift of Conagra Brands, 2016.20.406

James E. Butterworth (American, born England, 1817–1894), Clipper Ship "Flying Cloud," 1852. Lithograph.

The exhibition reveals the surprising modernity of the firm’s prints, offering a complex and conflicted vision of America that embraced the possibilities of an emerging urban and industrial society while nostalgically celebrating the social stability of a rural ideal.

41.260395, -95.9460525

Revisiting America: The Prints of Currier & Ives
Start Date:
November 21, 2020
End Date:
April 11, 2021
Venue:
Joslyn Art Museum
City:

Subscribe to our free e-letter!

Webform

Latest News

Rejected Tintin Cover Art Breaks Auction Record
On January 14, Artcurial offered a record-setting original, unpublished cover…
Gary Nader to auction Wifredo Lam Masterpiece in Sealed-Bid Offer
In this iconic oil on canvas, a testimony to Wilfredo Lam's technical mastery,…
The Haunting Imagery of Kazuki Takamatsu
Takamatsu’s haunting black and white imagery explores narratives of death and…
What Art will the Bidens Hang in the White House?
Here’s a look at some of the works that may decorate the new home of President…
Outsider Art Fair Model Offers Glimpse of Post-Covid Art World
When the Outsider Art Fair (OAF) opens on January 29, it will have a decidedly…