Currier & Ives
19th Century

Currier & Ives, firm of American lithographers, active during the 19th century. The firm developed from the business founded in New York City about 1834 by Nathaniel Currier (1813-88). Currier's first successful print depicted destruction from an 1835 fire that destroyed a large part of lower Manhattan. This lithograph was followed by the series, now known as Currier & Ives prints, devoted to contemporary subjects that ranged from the familiar to the sensational: scenes of social and domestic life, public disasters, and raids by Native Americans. In 1857, Currier promoted to partnership in the firm the artist James Merritt Ives (1824-95), whom he had employed as a bookkeeper. Thereafter all prints published by the firm bore the dual trademark. After the deaths of the partners, the firm continued until 1907. Today original Currier & Ives prints, some hand-colored, are valuable collectors' items.

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