2010 Imprint Volume 35-1 Spring


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216. Allison Stagg, “Family–Ambition: A Political Caricature of the 1804 New York Gubernatorial Election,” Vol. 35, No. 1 (Spring 2010), 2-9, 8 illus.

Stagg describes the cast of characters and contentious circumstances depicted in Family—Ambition, a previously undocumented caricature that she encountered in the Brooklyn Historical Society’s collection in the course of her work on early American political prints. The caricature was part of the “vicious and vengeful” election campaign waged by the supporters of Aaron Burr and Morgan Lewis as they vied for the position of governor of New York. The article explores the historical context for Family—Ambition, delving into New York politics in 1804 when the controversial Burr was opposed by an alliance between the powerful Clinton and Livingston families. Comparison is made to an earlier political caricature, A genuine View of the parties in an AFFAIR OF HONOR, published in 1802. Quotations from newspaper notices and private correspondence document the use of caricatures as political propaganda, and the responses that they elicited.

217. Georgia B. Barnhill, “Looking North: Views of Canada Published in the United States,” Vol. 35, No. 1 (Spring 2010), 10-25, 13 illus.

This overview of American involvement in the production of Canadian views ranges from 1745, when Thomas Johnston of Boston engraved the Plan of Cape Breton & Fort Louisbourgh through the late 1870s when Thaddeus Mortimer Fowler, Herman Brosius, Albert Ruger, and Eli Sheldon Glover produced numerous views of Canadian cities, often made from an aerial perspective. Commercial printmaking in Canada developed slowly for a variety of reasons. In many cases, Canadian artists and publishers relied on the expertise of American printers to realize their projects. In other instances, American artists, who moved easily across the shared border, made sketches in Canada that were printed and published in the United States and marketed in both countries. Early on, American prints reflected military conflicts between the two countries, but a growing curiosity prompted the inclusion of Canadian views in American magazines. In the early 1800s, Canada’s beautiful and picturesque scenery lent itself to illustrations in literary annuals, gift books, and travel narratives. As the century progressed, scenic views were published in larger portfolio format, such as Hunter’s Ottawa Scenery in the Vicinity of Ottawa City, Canada, published in Ottawa by William S. Hunter Jr. in 1855, with lithotints by J. H. Bufford of Boston. American view makers, including John W. Hill and Edwin Whitefield, traveled north during the 1850s to create large, separately issued views of Canadian cities that were printed and published in New York for a largely Canadian audience. The symbiotic printmaking relationship continued even after Canadian Confederation in 1867.

218. James Brust, “Unconventional Currier & Ives, More Examples,” Vol. 35, No. 1 (Spring 2010), 26-33, 9 illus.

Three examples of creative adaptation of Currier & Ives images and a trade card published by J.M. Ives are discussed. In the 1880s, when Currier & Ives was still in business, two of the firm’s lithographs were copied by an English manufacturer onto ceramic transferware mugs. The comic images, A Mule Train on an Up Grade, and A Mule Train on a Down Grade (both 1881), were part of the “Darktown” series created by Thomas Worth. The mugs are further evidence of British interest in the “Darktown” comics. The second example is an impression of the small folio Currier & Ives lithograph The Great East River Suspension Bridge (1881), that has been extensively overpainted to expand the scene beyond the lower border. The purpose of this exercise has not been determined. Another manipulated lithograph is the small folio The Flower Vase, published by N. Currier in the late 1840s, to which the owner has affixed two decorative die-cut embossed fabric labels. The final example is a trade card copyrighted by James Merritt Ives under his own name in 1881, the year after Currier retired from the firm.