Fine Arts Museum News

Currier & Ives Exhibition Features Images of Animals

Michele & Donald D'Amour Museum of Fine Arts

June 25, 2009

Currier & Ives are known for their idealized images of rural life in America. In keeping with this theme, the firm created many “parlor” prints of young children interacting with household pets and barnyard companions. A selection of these prints will be displayed in the exhibition Feathers and Fur: Animal Companions in Currier & Ives Prints, on view from June 30, 2009, through Jan. 24, 2010, in the Michele & Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts.

Puppies, kittens, rabbits, chickens and sparrows were part of the bucolic imagery associated with youth and the happy life in the country. Some of the images were “puzzle pictures” with hidden figures drawn into the background of the print. Children and parents would make a game of searching for the hidden images together. One of these, The Puzzled Fox, is one of only a few Currier & Ives prints that includes an image of the now-extinct passenger pigeon.

 

Other prints honored working household pets, such as dogs which rid the home and yard of rats, while others celebrated favorite farm animals.

 

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.

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