Currier and Ives was one of the most successful printmaking firms in the United States during the late-nineteenth century. The partnership in 1857 began when Nathaniel Currier, a successful lithographer working in Boston, Philadelphia, and New York, asked James Merritt Ives, then the bookkeeper and accountant to Currier, to become his business partner. Toting the self-imposed label of “the Grand Central Depot for Cheap and Popular Prints,” Currier and Ives quickly became quite prolific, producing thousands of fine art prints in both black and white and color. Advertising their lithographs as “engravings for the people,” their success illustrates the impact that technological developments in the field of printing had on the democratization and dispersion of art. Today, their posters, maps, and advertisements are still highly valued as art treasures of the nineteenth century.
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