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Image for American Country Life. May Morning

American Country Life. May Morning

Older and younger man on horseback riding down lane in front of house with gate open to yard and two women and a girl in yard gardening. From the Inventory Listing of Sidney A. Alpert "American Country Life / "May Morning"/ (16.14x23.15) 1855 - L"

American Country Life. May Morning was published two years before James Merritt Ives became partners with Nathaniel Currier.    The image appealed to upper-middle-class city residents who aspired to owning homes in the country. The scene, one of four designed by Fanny Palmer around the changing seasons, shows a wealthy family enjoying the idyllic pleasures of rural America.

Fanny Palmer was an artist and professional lithographer in England before she moved to America where she worked for Currier & Ives.  Palmer worked for the firm for more than twenty years and created some of their most popular images at a time when it was unusual for women to work outside the home. 

Published two years before James Merritt Ives became Nathaniel Currier's partner, "American Country Life. May Morning" appealed to upper-middle-class city dwellers who aspired to build second homes in the country. The scene, one of four designed by Fanny Palmer around the changing seasons, shows a wealthy family enjoying the idyllic pleasures of rural America. The firm created a number of sets of prints "reflecting seasonal change and the ages of man. "American Country Life," the earliest series, included "May Morning," "Summer Evening," October Afternoon," and "Pleasures of Winter" and was followed in 1868 by "The Four Seasons."

Date: 1855

Artists: Nathaniel Currier
Date of Artists: American, 1813-1888
Medium: Hand-colored lithograph
Measurements: 20 1/4 x 27 1/4 inches
Access Number: 2004-D03-509
Gift of Lenore B. and Sidney A. Alpert supplemented with Museum Acquistions Funds

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