Love & Marriage

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Nathaniel Currier and, later, James Merritt Ives held up a full-length mirror to the prevailing American interests and attitudes from 1834 until the turn of the present century. They offered colorful glimpses of every aspect of life—urban and rural scenes, catastrophes, political cartoons, portraits of the famous, historical and sentimentals, views of railroads and rivers, sporting events and sailing ships—there were over seven thousand subjects in all. The bustling shop at 152 Nassau Street in New York (and the peddlers and travelling salesmen who carried its wares to the rest of the nation) held something for every taste and every pocketbook. Small prints like these were as little as six cents apiece wholesale; now, of course, they are, along with all the others in the repertoire, collectors’ items that have restaked the claim of their creators to the proud republican title “Printmakers to the American People.”