“Currier & Ives: Perspectives on America” is a collaborative project combining the strengths of the partner institutions – the Springfield Museums, WGBY Public Television for Western New England, Bay Path College and the Cooperating Colleges of Greater Springfield, Springfield Public Schools, and Newspaper in Education at The Republican– to enhance the impact of a collection of 787 hand-colored nineteenth-century Currier & Ives lithographs acquired by the Springfield Museums.
Using the Currier & Ives prints as a point of departure, the project invites audiences to determine what the prints reveal about American history, how they can be used to teach visual literacy, and the role they played as the precursor to the journalistic phenomenon we now refer to as the “mass media.” “Currier & Ives: Perspectives on America” will incorporate television documentary, new media and print journalism, but is also layered with additional material, information, scholarship, and curricula.
This dynamic educational partnership is an opportunity for regional audiences to utilize important cultural and artistic resources in their community. “Currier & Ives: Perspectives on America” also challenges today’s citizens to stretch their perceptions about U.S. history, race, political structures and societal conventions by taking a closer look at Currier & Ives’ portraits of America during a pivotal period in the country’s development as a nation.
Museums, libraries and public broadcasters joining forces, creating value:
A Corporation for Public Broadcasting and Institute of Museum and Library Services leadership initiative.
Winter in the Country. Getting Ice, 1864
Hand-colored lithograph by Nathaniel Currier (1813-1888) and James Ives (1824-1895)
Gift of Lenore B. and Sidney A. Alpert supplemented with Museum of Fine Arts Collections Funds