Brev. Brig. Gen'l
- Feb 14, 2012
- Central Pennsylvania
Ebenezer Bell, 88th Pennsylvania died May 5th at Laurel Hill, 1864. Currier and Ives , the famous firm then established in New York City gave free rein to our involvement in the war- a widow's memories documented on their print. There are prints like this one, another has a column of ghostly soldiers marching from a cemetery as the widow weeps.
" The Parting ", cropped because the image is so wonderful you'd hate to miss it. Intent of thread isn't a comprehensive look at the firm or even their work between 1824 and 1907- it's to offer anyone the chance to go see for yourself. LoC is an incredible resource, this collection just part of our 250 years around here.
They're all here- or a good chunk. Fair warning, you'll be late for work, ignore the laundry and pretend you didn't hear the phone ringing.
Currier and Ives prints are synonymous with those ' quaint ' images we seem to love- nostalgic renderings of an America we either love or wish to forget. A few remain famous. Anything with a sleigh, pacing horse and maybe a picturesque farmhouse makes us all gooey over collective memory. And why not? It was us. The thing is, Currier and Ives, the firm, gave us all our collective memory and more. The firm's history includes our awful years- those of loss, pain, turmoil and death. They left us that, too, if we'd but go look.
The firm did a lot of what we'd probably call ' cheesy ' today- these wonderful women batting eyes at the artists number in the dozens. " Eliza ", " Ella ", " Sarah ", along with improbably colorized flowers.
And horses horses horses- racing, running, rearing copious horses. And some just waiting for you to go look at them.
Long bios are a snore, I know so will try for brevity and add the best link I've seen. Two Bostonian brothers, the Pendletons began their print company in 1824- a 15 year old named Nathaniel Currier became an apprentice. Like a lot of major firms, this one went through moves, changes, sell outs and staff reorganizations before finally firmly sealing success as ' Currier and Ives '. With the addition of Nathaniel Ives, a vague family connection to Currier our History was secured. It had been almost 30 years in the making but the early 1850's saw printing firm Currier and Ives established in NYC and catching fire.
The Planter's Hotel Fire, New Orleans, 1835 was one of our national tragedies. That May morning saw 50 people in peril, 40 who escaped- it was the biggest story out there. Nathaniel Currier's now famous image seems to have been the beginning of it, why we have the images we do and why a company that closed its doors in 1907 remains a household name. It's just us .
And all our memories.