Currier & Ives' winter scenes are among some of my favorites. I remember many years ago my grandmother having some of their prints. In the mid-1990's, I began collecting a blue and white dish pattern with a Currier & Ives scene imprinted on it, and I love using it during the winter months...it makes such a lovely table! I also remember as a child having a book of C&I prints, and I could look at those lovely pictures for hours and imagine myself in those beautiful scenes. I had long lost that book, so imagine my delight when I found it today in an antique store! Of course I bought it right away and could hardly wait to get home to look through it!
Currier & Ives were the self-described "Publishers of Cheap and Popular Pictures" during most of the 19th century and the early years of the 20th century. They produced more than a million prints through the process of hand-colored lithography. A staff of artists produced the lithographys, and the colors were applied in an "assembly line" style by mostly German immigrant girls, each of whom added a single color to the print.
The prints depicted a variety of images of American life, including my favorite winter scenes, as well as horse racing images, portraits, pictures of ships, sporting events, and battle scenes of the American Civil War.
In 1907, Currier & Ives closed after the public demand for lithographs diminished. Today, original Currier & Ives prints are very popular among collectors, and modern reproductions of the prints are popular decorations.