Currier, Nathaniel (1813-1888) USA (35)

Category: PAINTERS

CurrierNNathaniel Currier was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts. His father died when he was aged twelve, and at the age of fifteen he was apprenticed in a Boston lithography shop. In 1833 at twenty years of age he moved to Philadelphia to do contract work for an engraver and printer.

CurrierN1In 1834, he entered a partnership with a New York print maker, and a year later ended the partnership and worked alone as "N. Currier, Lithographer". In 1835, he created a lithograph of a fire in the New York business district of which he sold thousands of copies. He produced other prints of disasters and local and national events and gained attention as a lithographer. In 1840, he produced a lithograph of a fire on the steam boat LEXINGTON in Long Island Sound which led to the offer of a weekly insert in the New York Sun. As result, Currier's firm began a move from job printing to independent publishing.

CurrierN2The firm of CURRIER & IVES was established in 1857 when Currier invited his company's bookkeeper and accountant, JAMES MERRITT IVES 1824- 1895 to become his partner. Ives became General Manager of the firm handling the finances. He also had flair for discerning popular interests and participated in the choice of images for publication. Some 7,000 lithographs were published in the firm’s 72 year history. Artists produced two to three new images every week for 64 years (1834-1895) and produced more than a million prints by hand-colored lithography. Many celebrated artists of the day were employed or their works used. Lithographs were produced on lithographic limestone printing plates on which the drawing was done by hand. These drawings were made by the artists who are described on the lithographs as "Delineators" or "Del." for short on the prints. Early lithographs were printed in black Prints were then hand-colored by a dozen or more women working in assembly line fashion, one colour per worker, who received $6 for every hundred prints.

Currier died in 1888, Ives remained with the firm until his death in 1895. Both Currier's and Ives' sons entered the business which was liquidated in 1907. Public demand for lithographs was diminishing as photography and other techniques of printing were developed.


The Yacht "Countess of Dufferin"
The yacht "Maria" 216 tons
The American champion sloop yacht Mayflower
Yachts on a summer cruise
The great exhibition of 1851 American department
The New York yacht club regatta
Yacht "Sappho" of N.Y. 210 Tons. Owned and Commanded by W. P. Douglas Esq. Rear Commodore N.Y.Y.C.
Sloop Yacht "Pocahontas" of New York
The Clipper Yacht AMERICA
The Yacht DAUNTLESS of New York.
The yacht "Sappho" of New York: leaving Sandy Hook July 28th. 1869 bound to Europe
The 1857 Schooner-Yacht Magic
Schooner yacht Cambria, 199 tons
Great international yacht race, August 8, 1870
Rounding the light ship
The Yacht Squadron At Newport
Sloop yachts Mischief and Atalanta in the race for "The America Cup"
A "Crack" sloop in a race to windward: Yacht Gracie of New York
Yacht Puritan of Boston
Cutter Genesta, R.Y.S.
The American Champion "Yacht Puritan"
Yacht Puritan of Boston
Cutter yacht Galatea: Modelled by J. Beavor Webb. Owned by Lieut. Henn, R.N.
Mayflower saluted by the fleet: crossing the bow of "Galatea" on the fourth tack in the first race for "The Americas Cup" over the inside course New York Bay Sept. 7th 1886
Cutter Volunteer
Sloop yacht "Volunteer": modelled by Edward Burgess of Boston for Genl. C.J. Paine
"Thistle": cutter yacht, designed by G.L. Watson. built by D.W. Henderson & Co. Glasgow. owned by Mr. James Bell, Glasgow Scotland
Nearing the finish line
The celebrated Yachts Coronet and Dauntless: Starting March 12th 1887 on their great ocean race from New York to Roche's Point, Ireland
Cutter Yacht "Thistle": Designed by G.L. Watson. Built by D.W. Henderson & Co. Glasgow. Owned by Mr. James Bell, Glasgow
Valkyrie Challenger for the America's Cup, October 1893
Vigilant Defender of the America's Cup, October 1893
Vigilant. Defender of the America's Cup, October, 1893
Vigilant and Valkyrie in a "thrash to windward"