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19th Century American Print Makers and Lithographers

Many new printmaking processes were introduced in the 19th century. Illustrated papers and books became the norm by the end of the century, and individual prints were produced in large quantities to provide inexpensive access to decorative art material for the masses. Companies like Currier and Ives thrived on the production of printed maps, art and illustrations.

Identifying the artist behind a particular print is not always easy. For one thing, it is often the publishers name that appears on the print, not the artist. In other cases the artist used initials or a logo to identify their work, and it is not always clear which artist goes with which logo.

Still, the situation is better than that of sketches, since there are often clues of some sort to use as a starting point from which to search out the identity of the artist.

The quality of 19th century prints runs the gamut from crude blotches for which it is nearly impossible to determine even the subject matter, much less the artist, to faithful engravings of the finest artistic quality. Preserving and identifying fine prints is a worthy endeavor for any art lover.

Looking for 19th Century Artists? See our Little Known 19th Century American Artists Series:


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