Revisiting America: The Prints of Currier & Ives
11/21/2020 - 4/11/2021

In 2016, ConAgra Foods, Inc. (now Conagra Brands) donated nearly 600 Currier & Ives lithographs to Joslyn Art Museum. Now home to one of the largest public collections of these popular and historically significant images, Joslyn has organized this exhibition that sheds new light on the famous firm’s artistic and commercial practices. Revisiting America: The Prints of Currier & Ives will explore how the largest printmaking company in nineteenth-century America visualized the nation’s social, political, and industrial fabric.

Known today for its lush, hand-colored lithographs that nostalgically depicted an idyllic republic of pioneer homesteads, sporting camps, and bucolic pastimes, these sentimental images comprised only one aspect of Currier & Ives’ production. The company’s inexpensive and popular prints were a ubiquitous presence for decades, and just as frequently touched on pressing social and political issues. Addressing economic development, western expansion, the Civil War, and controversies of racial and class politics, Currier & Ives portrayed scenes of urbanization, nation building, naval battles, catastrophic disasters, and current events that were far from idyllic.

Revisiting America is organized into themed sections—Sails, Steam, and Speed; Urban Experiences; Domestic Visions; Sporting Life; The Frontier; The Civil War and the American South; America in War and Peace; and Humor. The exhibition reveals the surprising modernity of the firm’s prints, offering a complex and conflicted vision of America that embraced the possibilities of an emerging urban and industrial society while nostalgically celebrating the social stability of a rural ideal.

Revisiting America: The Prints of Currier & Ives
is organized by Joslyn Art Museum. Following its presentation at Joslyn, Revisiting America will travel to the Shelburne Museum (Shelburne, VT; May 1–August 29, 2021) and Florence Griswold Museum (Old Lyme, CT; October 2, 2021–January 24, 2022).

Pictured Above: James E. Butterworth (American, born England, 1817–1894), Clipper Ship "Flying Cloud," 1852, lithograph, Gift of Conagra Brands, 2016.20.406
 
Exhibition Catalogue
Revisiting America: The Prints of Currier & Ives is accompanied by a beautifully illustrated catalogue featuring 100 of the finest prints produced by Currier & Ives. Published by Joslyn Art Museum, the catalogue includes a foreword by Joslyn Art Museum Executive Director & CEO Jack Becker, Ph.D., and essays by contributors. $39.95 softcover. Purchase the catalogue online or in person at the Hitchcock Museum Shop beginning November 21 (temporary Shop hours: Friday–Sunday, 10 am to 4 pm).

Funding for this publication was provided by

Exhibition Mobile Tour
Free Wi-Fi is available in all Joslyn galleries. Guests may use their own mobile device to access the dual language Revisiting America: The Prints of Currier & Ives mobile tour (transcript available in the website options). Dial (402) 881-3601 for English or (402) 972-4031 for Spanish. Virtual tour: from afar, using your computer. Presented by Joslyn and OnCell.

Exhibition Tickets, Hours, and Visitor Information
Revisiting America: The Prints of Currier & Ives is a ticketed exhibition. Advance reservations are required for a visit to the Museum; choose the timed ticket that includes the special exhibition when you make your reservation online in advance. Complete visitor guidelines and ticket reservation information.

Timed tickets that include a visit to the special exhibition are as follows:
  • $10 for general public adults [select: Special Exhibition and General Admission – Adult]
  • FREE for youth ages 17 and younger [select: Special Exhibition and General Admission – Child]
  • FREE for Joslyn Members [members must sign in to their account to ensure ticket discount is applied]. Not a member? Join today!
Special instructions for college student tickets:
  • $5 college students with ID [these paid tickets are handled at the entrance desk upon presentation of a valid student ID. Students should reserve a free timed General Admission Adult ticket in advance. Upon arrival at the Museum, a student Revisiting America ticket may be added, payable at the entrance desk.]
  • FREE for those with a UNMC student ID [UNMC students should reserve a free timed General Admission Adult ticket in advance. Upon arrival at the Museum, show your UNMC student ID, and a Revisiting America ticket may be added, free of charge.]
All guests: Upon arrival at the Museum, please show proof of your timed visit and Revisiting America: The Prints of Currier & Ives reservation(s).

Exhibition Hours:

Revisiting America: The Prints of Currier & Ives is open during all current regular Museum hours (Wednesday–Sunday, 10 am to 4 pm)

Exhibition-Related Events and Programs:

Thursday, November 19 @ 7 pm
Members-Only Virtual Lecture

Friday, November 20 n 5–8 pm
Members-Only Preview

Tuesday, November 8 @ 10:30 am