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Guide to the New-York Historical Society Collection of Currier & Ives Prints
1844-1880
 PR 230

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
(212) 873-3400


New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Larry Weimer

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on January 24, 2020
English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Descriptive Summary

Creator: New-York Historical Society
Creator: Currier & Ives
Title: New-York Historical Society collection of Currier & Ives prints
Dates [inclusive]: 1844-1880
Abstract: About 46 lithographs and chromolithographs produced by Currier & Ives. Principal topics include the patriotism of men, women and children during the Civil War; images of Jesus Christ and Christian saints; Mississippi River paddle steamboats; country landscapes; and "The Life of a Fireman" series of six plates.
Quantity: 3 Linear feet in 6 flat file folders
Call Phrase: PR 230

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Biographical / Historical

Currier & Ives was a successful American printmaking firm headed by Nathaniel Currier (1813-1888) and James Merritt Ives (1824-1895). Based in New York City from 1834 to 1907, the prolific firm produced prints from paintings by fine artists as black and white lithographs that were hand colored. The name Currier & Ives first appeared in 1857, when Currier invited James Merritt Ives, the company's bookkeeper and accountant, to become his partner. Currier died in 1888; Ives remained active in the firm until his death in 1895. Both Currier's and Ives's sons followed their fathers in the business, which was eventually liquidated in 1907. (Source: Library of Congress authorities record)

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Scope and Contents

The collection holds about 46 lithographs and chromolithographs produced by Currier & Ives, with some by Nathaniel Currier dating before his partnership with James Ives. (N-YHS holds about 900 Currier & Ives prints across several collections; see the Related Materials Note in this finding aid.) Principal topics in this collection include the patriotism of men, women and children during the Civil War; images of Jesus Christ and Christian saints; Mississippi River paddle steamboats; and country landscapes. There is a complete set of six plates for the series "The Life of a Fireman." A few images concern commentary or satire on political or social matters. There is a marriage certificate and a family photograph registry, unusual formats for the Currier & Ives firm.

The container list includes the titles of all items in the collection. A "Peters" catalogue number was recorded in the container list if one was noted on the print.

Arrangement

Prints are arranged in six folders by size and, roughly, by subject, as follows:

FF1: Civil War soldiers
FF2: Religious
FF3: Certificates and registers
FF4: Miscellaneous
FF5: "Life of a Fireman" plates
FF6: Miscellaneous (steamboats, landscapes, etc)

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Access Points

Document Type

  • Certificates.
  • Chromolithographs
  • Lithographs.

Subject Topics

  • Christian saints -- Pictorial works.
  • Fire fighters -- Pictorial works.
  • River boats -- Pictorial works.

Subject Places

  • United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Pictorial works.

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Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Access

Available by advance appointment only. To schedule an appointment, contact the Print Room Librarian at printroom@nyhistory.org.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopying undertaken by staff only. Limited to twenty exposures of stable, unbound material per day. (Researchers may not accrue unused copy amounts from previous days.) Permission to reproduce any Department of Prints, Photographs and Architectural Collections holdings through publication must be obtained from: Rights and Reproductions, The New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024. Phone: (212) 873-3400 ext. 282.

Preferred Citation

This collection should be cited as the New-York Historical Society Collection of Currier & Ives prints, PR 230, Department of Prints, Photographs, and Architectural Collections, New-York Historical Society.

Related Materials

This collection includes a relatively small portion of N-YHS's total holdings of Currier & Ives prints. In addition to this collection, N-YHS holds about 900 Currier & Ives prints across 10 other collections, which are organized by format, subject, collector, or other focus in the Department of Prints, Photographs and Architectural Collections (PPAC). An item level list of the Currier & Ives prints in all PPAC collections is available on request via email. Contact printroom@nyhistory.org.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was compiled by New-York Historical Society from various donations and purchases. Known acquisition dates or sources are noted at the item level.

Processing Information

This collection was removed from the Printmaker file, PR-058, in 2003. An on-line finding aid was written for the collection by archivist Larry Weimer in January 2020.

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Container List

Container 1     Title Date
Folder: FF-1 "The Little Recruit"

Scope and Contents

Peters 901. Acquisition: Gift of Daniel Parish, Jr., April 5, 1900.

1863
Folder: FF-1 "Ole Massa's Grave"

Scope and Contents

Acquisition: Gift of Daniel Parish, Jr., November 14, 1892.

undated
Folder: FF-1 "The Union Volunteer"
1861
Folder: FF-1 "The Soldier Boy. 'Off Duty'"

Scope and Contents

Peters 908.

1864
Folder: FF-1 "The Little Zouave. 'Up Boys and at the M'"

Scope and Contents

Peters 904.

1861
Folder: FF-1 "The Soldier Boys. The Last Defence"
undated
Folder: FF-1 "The Hour of Victory"

Scope and Contents

Peters 898.

1861
Folder: FF-1 "The Pride of America"
undated
Folder: FF-1 "The Star Spangled Banner"

Scope and Contents

Peters 921.

undated
Folder: FF-1 "The Brave Wife"
undated
Folder: FF-1 "The Soldier's Grave"
1862
Folder: FF-2 "The Infant Saviour. Le Sauveur du Monde. El Salvador del Mundo"

Scope and Contents

Acquisition: Purchase, Elie Nadelman; stamped as part of N-YHS Folk Arts Collection, November 17, 1937.

undated
Folder: FF-2 "Holy Family. La Sagrada Familia"

Scope and Contents

Acquisition: Purchase, Elie Nadelman; stamped as part of N-YHS Folk Arts Collection, November 17, 1937.

undated
Folder: FF-2 "The Resurrection"

Scope and Contents

Acquisition: Purchase, Elie Nadelman; stamped as part of N-YHS Folk Arts Collection, November 17, 1937.

undated
Folder: FF-2 "Sacred Heart of Mary. Sacre Coeur de Marie. Sacrado Corazon de Maria."

Scope and Contents

Acquisition: Purchase, Elie Nadelman; stamped as part of N-YHS Folk Arts Collection, November 17, 1937.

undated
Folder: FF-2 "Saint Bridget. Sta. Brigida."

Scope and Contents

Acquisition: Purchase, Elie Nadelman; stamped as part of N-YHS Folk Arts Collection, November 17, 1937.

undated
Folder: FF-2 "The Annunciation"

Scope and Contents

Acquisition: Purchase, Elie Nadelman; stamped as part of N-YHS Folk Arts Collection, November 17, 1937.

1844
Folder: FF-2 "Sacred Heart of Jesus. Sacre Coeur de Jesus. Sagrado Corazon de Jesus."

Scope and Contents

Acquisition: Purchase, Elie Nadelman; stamped as part of N-YHS Folk Arts Collection, November 17, 1937.

undated
Folder: FF-2 "The Descent from the Cross"

Scope and Contents

Acquisition: Purchase, Elie Nadelman; stamped as part of N-YHS Folk Arts Collection, November 17, 1937.

undated
Folder: FF-2 "John Wesley Preaching on His Fathers Grave"

Scope and Contents

Acquisition: Purchase from Plaza Art Galleries, October 31, 1941; item #7 in gallery catalogue of October 30, 1941.

undated
Folder: FF-3 "Family Photograph Register"

Scope and Contents

The document is undated. Handwritten entries on the register for G. Henry Rafuse, his wife Frances, their two children and their marriage dates. Dates of births, deaths, and marriages range from 1854-1936. There are no photographs.

undated
Folder: FF-3 "Marriage Certificate"

Scope and Contents

Certificate is filled out: Abel N. Moore and Isanah A. Baker, both of Moscow, Maine, married October 16, 1870.

1875
Folder: FF-4 "The Exquisite. The 'Pet of the Ladies'"

Scope and Contents

Acquisition: Likely a gift from Daniel Parish, Jr., September 27, 1901.

undated
Folder: FF-4 "The Momentous Question"

Scope and Contents

Lithographed and published by Nathaniel Currier.

1853
Folder: FF-4 "The Old Farm House"
1872
Folder: FF-4 "Grand Papa's Cane"

Scope and Contents

Peters 2804.

undated
Folder: FF-4 "Virtue, Love & Temperance. Love, Purity & Fidelity"

Scope and Contents

By Nathaniel Currier. Acquisition: Gift of Kiliaen Van Rensselaer, January 19, 1946.

1851
Folder: FF-4 "Grand National Democratic Banner. Press Onward"

Scope and Contents

Lithographed and published by Nathaniel Currier. Political poster for James K. Polk and George M. Dallas. From the Bella C. Landauer Collection.

1844
Folder: FF-4 "The Cleveland Smile"
undated
Folder: FF-4 "Maiden's Rock. Mississippi River" [Steamboat/paddle wheel]

Scope and Contents

Purchased, November 15, 1938, Wilbur Fund. Print matted.

undated
Folder: FF-4 "On the Mississippi" [Steamboat/paddle wheel]
1869
Folder: FF-4 "Luke Blackburn, By Bonnie Scotland, Dam Nevada"

Scope and Contents

E. Forbes, del. Acquisition: Gift of Samuel V. Hoffman, December 5, 1924.

1880
Folder: FF-5 "The Life of a Fireman [Plate 1]: The Night Alarm. 'Start her lively boys'"

Scope and Contents

Acquisition: Gift of Daniel Parish, Jr., April 27, 1899.

1854
Folder: FF-5 "The Life of a Fireman [Plate 2]: The Race. 'Jump her boys, jump her!'"

Scope and Contents

Acquisition: Gift of Daniel Parish, Jr., April 27, 1899.

1854
Folder: FF-5 "The Life of a Fireman [Plate 3]: The Fire. 'Now then with a will - Shake her up, boys!'"

Scope and Contents

2 copies. One copy was a gift of Daniel Parish, Jr., April 27, 1899. The other is stamped "Property of E.A. Cruikshank."

1854
Folder: FF-5 "The Life of a Fireman [Plate 4]: The Ruins. 'Take up.' - 'Man your rope.'"

Scope and Contents

Acquisition: Gift of Daniel Parish, Jr., April 27, 1899.

1854
Folder: FF-5 "The Life of a Fireman [Plate 5]: The New Era. Steam and Muscle"

Scope and Contents

Acquisition: Gift of Daniel Parish, Jr., May 17, 1899.

1861
Folder: FF-5 "The Life of a Fireman [Plate 6]: The Metropolitan System"

Scope and Contents

Acquisition: Gift of Daniel Parish, Jr., May 17, 1899.

1866
Folder: FF-5 Small reproduction of plate 4 "The Life of a Fireman. the Ruins" and publicity material for the Currier & Ives fireman prints.

Scope and Contents

Acquisition: The reproduction was a gift of E. Lawrence Sampter, July 8, 1957. The publicity document was from the I.N. Stokes collection.

1884
Folder: FF-6 "The Home of Evangeline. 'In the Acadian Land'"

Scope and Contents

F.F. Palmer, del.

1864
Folder: FF-6 "Gray's Elegy. In a Country Church Yard"

Scope and Contents

F.F. Palmer, del. Label on back reads: Purchased, May 7, 1936, but card in file reads that the item was a gift of Mrs. Eliza J. Watson in memory of her husband, John Jay Watson, 1946.

1864
Folder: FF-6 "On the Mississippi" [Steamboat/Paddle wheel]

Scope and Contents

Gift of Henry O. Havemeyer, Yale 1900.

1869
Folder: FF-6 "The Mississippi in Time of Peace"

Scope and Contents

F.F. Palmer, del.

1865
Folder: FF-6 "New England Winter Scene"

Scope and Contents

Painted by Geo. H. Durrie.

1861
Folder: FF-6 "Enoch Arden - The Lonely Isle"
1869
Folder: FF-6 "The Beauties of Billiards. 'A carom on the dark red'"

Scope and Contents

Gift of Peter Laibson and Donald Smith, from the collection of Lillian & Judah Skoal, 2019.

1869

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