Currier and Ives, founded in 1834 by Nathaniel Currier (1813–1888) and James Merritt Ives (1824–1895), successfully produced and marketed what it touted as “Cheap and Popular Prints.” The aim was to provide original fine art at prices most people could afford. It was the art of the people.
Until the firm’s close in 1895, Currier and Ives produced over one million lithographs and employed many of the country’s greatest artists including James E. Buttersworth, Charles R. Parsons, George Inness, Thomas Nast, C.H. Moore, and Eastman Johnson.
As the works appealed to the everyday American, so too did the subjects depict a variety of scenes from American life and history. Renderings of ships, sporting events, quaint homesteads, trains, grand American vistas and important historical events held a great draw and elicited a warm nostalgia from avid collectors then as they continue to do so today.