Fine Arts Museum News
Exhibit of Currier & Ives Prints Features Religious Themes
Michele & Donald D'Amour Museum of Fine Arts
January 6, 2009
Although the firm of Currier & Ives is known primarily for its idealized images of rural life in America, the firm also published more than 350 lithographs featuring religious and moralistic themes. A selection of these will be on view at the Michele & Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts from January 20 through June 7 in the exhibition Divinity: Religious Images by Currier & Ives.
Nathaniel Currier was from a traditional religious background as were many Americans who were brought up in New England during the early years of the 19th century. Consequently, lithographs illustrating religious themes and messages of morality were popular as well as marketable. The revivalist movement of the early 1800s increased the popularity of such images as the notion became widespread that any man could achieve salvation through his own moral efforts, charity and good works. Currier & Ives embraced and help spread these ideas and profited from the various themes that surfaced during this time. The exhibition will feature lithographs that represent both the moral concerns and remedies of the 19th century as well as the strong religious tenor in America.
The exhibition will be on view in the museum’s Lenore B. and Sidney A. Alpert Currier & Ives Gallery, the only country’s only permanent museum gallery devoted to Currier & Ives prints.