228. Hazel Brandenburg, “Re-Presenting the Past: Currier & Ives in 1920s America,” Vol. 37, No. 1 (Spring 2012), 2-13, 8 illus.
Drawing on her knowledge of the 1920s enthusiasm for collecting American antiques, Hazel Brandenburg examines the reasons why Currier & Ives prints became the visual representation of traditional American heritage and were eagerly collected during that decade. As Americans struggled with and embraced changes brought about by technology, urbanization, and mass media, they also wished to maintain older values and traditions that were threatened by foreign influences represented by immigrants and Communists. For anxious and nostalgic Americans, “the scenes depicted in these [Currier & Ives] prints provided direct visual ‘evidence’ of a simpler and happier American past.” Brandenburg discussed the antiques periodicals and books about antique collecting, and cites their opinions regarding these prints and their aesthetic value. She also covers the major C&I auctions. This article expands on Brandenburg’s presentation at Old Sturbridge Village, MA, during the AHPCS annual meeting in May 2011.
229. Allison M. Stagg, “After the New York Public Library: Frank Weitenkampf and His Scholarship on American Political Caricatures,” Vol. 37, No. 1 (Spring 2012), 14-24, 7 illus.
Allison M. Stagg, pays tribute to Frank Weitenkampf (1866-1962), the super-energetic, long-term curator of prints at the New York Public Library. After his retirement in 1942, Weitenkampf embarked on the writing of two great books, A Century of Political Cartoons: Caricatures in the United States 1800 to 1900, (1944), and Political Caricature in the United States in Separately Published Cartoons, an Annotated List (1952/1953). Weitenkampf’s enthusiasm for political and social caricature was shared by Clarence S. Brigham of the American Antiquarian Society, Allan Nevins, professor of History at Columbia University, and Robert W. G. Vail, director of the New-York Historical Society. Stagg quotes extensively from their correspondence to demonstrate the mutual interest and friendship that united these men in their determination to preserve caricature published in America. This article expands on Stagg’s presentation at Old Sturbridge Village, MA, during the AHPCS annual meeting in May 2011.
230. David J. Bottjer, “Robert Havell Jr. and Creating The Birds of America,” Vol. 37, No. 1 (Spring 2012), 25-39, 14 illus.
David J. Bottjer examines the extent of the significant contributions made by Robert Havell Jr. (1793-1878) to the final compositions of the plates for John James Audubon’s The Birds of America. In addition to his role as engraver and publisher, Havell exercised his considerable artistic ability to adjust the placement of birds and sometimes created complete backgrounds. After comparing the Audubon watercolors with the published engravings, Bottjer has quantified the extent of Havell’s compositional changes, which increased over the course of publication.