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Archive for July, 2013

Currier & Ives’ Secret - Racist Prints Sold Well

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

What is your mental image, when you see the words, Currier & Ives?

A snow scene? A sleigh? The verdant countryside?

You will think differently, in a moment.

Admirers will be amazed and disgusted to know that of the pair’s most successful sales were 75 separate color lithograph images, which hatefully portrayed African-Americans in the most horrific examples of racism imaginable.

[These prints, and the stories behind them can be seen at Booktryst.com in its "The Dark Side of Currier & Ives" entry.]

The Ohio History Center has copies of these eye-opening prints in its “Controversy 2: Things We Don’t Talk About” exhibit room. You will leave it with a new view of Currier & Ives.

My wife and I discovered and were stunned by their ‘artistic’ shame, on a recent visit to Columbus, Ohio.