2003 Imprint Volume 28-2 Autumn


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173. Wendy Wick Reaves. “Prints as History.” Vol. 28, no. 2 (Autumn 2003), 2-16.

Reaves, Curator of Prints and Drawings at the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, points out that “as a museum of history and biography as well as art,” the National Portrait Gallery is concerned with such questions as: What did a print communicate in its own time? And who made it, and for what audience? She looks carefully at such famous prints as the Van der Passe engraving of Pocahontas and at little-known, rather crude woodcuts of Daniel Shays and George Washington. She assumes there was a commercial market for the 1840s lithograph of African-American bandleader and composer, Frank Johnson, and suggests political and nationalistic messages in depictions of Winfield Scott, the families of McClellan and Lincoln, and portraits of rival presidential candidates Ulysses S. Grant and Horace Greeley.

 174. Robert P. Emlen. “Canterbury Views: The Enduring Image of a Shaker Village.” Vol 28, no. 2 (Autumn 2003), 17-28

The first printed illustration of a Shaker village, a wood engraving of Canterbury, New Hampshire, published in the November 1835 American Magazine of Useful and Entertaining Knowledge, set the pattern for future images of the town, inspiring at least eight other versions of the same scene. The panoramic view of the hilltop community from the Shakers’ ox pasture showed substantial buildings, well-tended fields, and stone walls-a picture of industrious and healthy living. Nathaniel Hawthorne, who had visited Canterbury in 1831 and published his story “The Canterbury Pilgrims” in 1832, may have written the description accompanying the 1835 wood engraving.

 175. James Brust. “Learning about Currier & Ives from Nineteenth-Century Carte-de-Visite Photographs.” Vol. 28, no. 2 (Autumn 2003), 29-40.

Brust has identified over fifty Currier & Ives prints that have been used on carte-de-visites (CDVs). CDVs by other firms have shed light on C&I lithographs. For example, a CDV of performer Lydia Thompson as “the Girl of the Period” was most likely the source of the C&I print The Girl of the Period. Brust uses a CDV of painter Eastman Johnson to argue that one of the figures in the C&I print Husking, after a Johnson painting, is a self-portrait. And CDVs of paintings by the Scottish artist Erskine Nicol suggest that they were the source of several C&I prints, namely Outward-Bound and Homeward Bound and Convanience and Inconvanience.