Category Archives: 19th Century Prints

2013 Capital Art Fair

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The 2013 Capital Art Fair will take place in Arlington, VA, at the Holiday Inn-Rosslyn Westpark Hotel during the first weekend of April. A successor to the Washington International Print Fair and the Washington Print Fair, the Capital Art Fair is now in its fourth year of bringing collectible and desirable art to the Washington, DC, area. This year, the fair boasts over 25 distinguished art dealers from across the United States.

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Kotondo, Torii, 1900-1977 – Morning Hair – woodblock print, 1932

Visitors to the fair will find thousands of works on paper from great master prints to cutting edge, contemporary pieces. The original prints, paintings, drawings, and photographs span over 500 years of creative expression, offering an impressive and expansive selection to DC art collectors.

The Capital Art Fair presents an invaluable opportunity, both in access and convenience, to the seasoned art collector, as well as those looking to break into the market. It is the only art fair in the Washington, DC, area where an extraordinary range of fine art will be available for collectors, museums, and the curious to purchase. It also gives a chance for the vibrant DC art community to interact and talk with exhibitors and dealers who are highly respected in the field, many of whom are well known to the curators of DC museums and established members of the International Fine Print Dealers Association.

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Ray Morimur – Vermillion Corridor – Color woodcut, 2009

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Gustave Baumann – A Lilac Year

Jules Engel, Cattail II, Color lithograph 2001

Jules Engel, Cattail II, Color lithograph 2001.

Tickets to the 2013 Capital Art Fair can be bought at the fair for $10. OPG Blog readers can sign-up online, before next Friday, for free admission. Feel free to invite friends, art-lovers, or collectors- the more the merrier!
http://www.capitalartprintfair.com/freetickets.html 

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Daniel Kelly – Whisper – Woodblock print on handmade paper from Nepal, 2012

The fair hours are as listed below:

Saturday, April 6, 2013: 10 am – 6 pm

Sunday, April 7, 2013: 11 am – 5 pm

The Holiday Inn-Rosslyn Westpark Hotel is located at 1900 North Fort Meyer Drive, Alexandria, VA 22209. It is just over the Key Bridge from Georgetown and only one block away from the Rosslyn Metro stop on the Orange and Blue lines.

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More information, including directions and a list of participating dealers, can be found at the Capital Art Fair website: http://www.capitalartprintfair.com/.

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Thomas Hart Benton “Shallow Creek” lithograph

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Laurel Sparks – Luminous Procuress – 3 plate copper etching and aquatint with chine collé and hand additions, 2011

Past/Present: Monkeys

Today we have a new P/P post, featuring two prints of monkeys. One is an early 19th century stipple and line engraving from “Storia Naturale Delle Scimie E Dei Maki..”, an Italian publication describing monkeys in their natural habitat. The second print is by 20th century artist Joan Drew. Drew is known for her playful and whimsical serigraphs. Serigraphy is a stencil method of print making, in which a design is imposed on a screen of polyester or other fine mesh, with blank areas coated with an impermeable substance. Ink is forced into the mesh openings by the fill blade and onto the printing surface during the squeegee stroke. The method is sometimes called silk screening or screen printing.

Both prints are currently available in our New York gallery, The Old Print Shop. We invite you to visit their store in person ( located at 30th Street & Lexington Ave, in NYC) or view their prints online here: La Mona & Monkey Puzzle.

Image on Left: La Mona. By Nicolas Henri Jacob. Published in Milano by Ferdinando Artaria, Gioachimo Bettalli, Fratelli Ubicini & Hugues. Engraved by L. Rados.  Stipple & line engraving, 1814.

Image on Right: Monkey Puzzle.  By Joan Drew. Serigraph, 1963. Inscribed “12/71.”

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Past/Present: Oranges

Today we have a new P/P post, featuring two prints of oranges. The older print was printed by Monrocq. Issued as part of a teaching poster series entitled “Mobilier et Materiel pour l’Enseignement”, this poster shows the many facets of the orange, lemon, tangerine, and their various uses. The contemporary print is by artist Sarah Sears. Sears is a New York City artist, who is driven by “the formal elements of a piece — the energy of a line, the sensuality of a shape, the drama created by contrasting values.” Here, she offers two views of a blood orange- a rounded half and a slice of orange- divided and constrained by both a rectangle and light and dark space. Enjoy!

Image on Left: A Laranja (The Orange). 538 B. Published by Les fils d’Emile Deyrolle, Paris. Printed by Monrocq for “Mobilier et Materiel pour l’Enseignement.” Lithograph with original hand color, c. 1880. 

Image on Right: Two Views of a Blood Orange.  By Sarah Sears. Etching, 2000. Artist’s Proof. 

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New Additions: Antique Valentine’s Day Cards

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NEW ADDITIONSWe just added a whole set of late-19th century and early-20th century Valentine’s Day cards. These elaborate and beautiful cards feature fold-outs, paper lace, and  very sweet messages of love and adoration.

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To My Valentine. : In these blue forget-me-nots, : In these fragrant roses too, : Read the message fond and true : From my faithful heart to you. Die-cut color lithograph, Undated. c.1880.

While handmade Valentine’s Day cards were in existence long before, the first printed paper cards made in the United States appeared around 1840. We have many stand-up cards with a base and several three-dimensional fold-out layers, which were popular designs from about 1895 until 1915.  Cards featuring honeycomb paper puffs, which open to form bells, fans, balls, hearts and other shapes, were also popular. These intricate designs were practical to mail, and made strong visual statements when finally opened up by the recipients.

Have I not told my love to thee? A love that e'er will constant prove... Paper lace, c.1890.

Have I not told my love to thee? A love that e’er will constant prove… Paper lace, c.1890.

Loving Thoughts. Published by A-Meri-Card. Made in U.S.A. Die-cut color lithograph, Undated. c.1925. Both eyes and pointing hand can move.

Loving Thoughts.  Die-cut color lithograph, Undated. c.1925. 

In the the 1930′s cards with mechanical parts came into vogue. The recipient would be able to pull on a lever in the card, to make a heart move, an eye wink, or a message to pop out.

These cards will make great gifts for the fast-approaching Valentine’s Day or any upcoming special anniversaries. They are beautiful, unique, and continue a time-honored tradition of love.

To view more cards, visit our gallery or the Valentine’s Day Section of our website. Follow the link here to view some beautiful examples.

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OPS at 2013 Winter Antiques Show

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Our partners, The Old Print Shop, are participating in this year’s Winter Antiques Show, held at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City. Opening today, January 25th, and running until February 3rd, the Winter Antiques Show is a prestigious show where unusual examples of art, craftsmanship & history can be seen, discussed, and purchased- a great opportunity for any antique print collector.

The Old Print Shop has participated in this memorable show for over 50 years! This year, they will have on hand a wonderful selection of early American historical prints, town views, maps and natural history prints – as well as 20th century master prints by the likes of George Bellows, Edward Hopper, Childe Hassam, Blanche Lazzell, and Martin Lewis, among others.

101You can visit them at Booth 19. The show is open daily 12 p.m. - 8 p.m, Sundays & Thursdays 12 p.m. - 6 p.m. Daily tickets are $20.00.

Follow the link below for more information, including directions, special programs and lectures. You can also purchase your tickets for the fair online: http://www.winterantiquesshow.com/

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Inauguration Day in Washington

With Inauguration Day just around the corner, we thought it would be fun to present our readers with antique prints of past inaugurations. DC is currently  busy at work preparing for the great influx of people about to descent on our city to see President Obama start his second term. Extra cell phone towers are popping up on the mall, streets are being repaved and repainted, and the DC  government is (as we speak) building large viewing platforms, fitted with wide screen TVs and heating.

Yet despite our city’s tech-savvy face-lift, when you look at these old prints, you’ll noticed not much has changed. Yes, Obama will be in a limo, not a horse and carriage like some past presidents. And visitors will probably notice less top hats and petticoats and more smart phones in the crowds than in years past. Yet all of the fanfare and excitement that comes as a result of witnessing an important day in history- that resonates both in the images of the past and in present day. People will still climb to rooftop vistas and immerse themselves into the thick crowds that line Pennsylvania Avenue. Balls will still be held under the red, white, and blue flags and bunting. And the tradition of swearing in a president for another four-year term will continue. 

We hope you enjoy these great images from the past! (Out of town visitors- feel free to escape the weekend crowds and stop by our  gallery to see these prints in person! We are open Tuesday- Saturday from 10 am to 5:20 pm.) 

President Lincoln's Reinauguration at the Capitol. Hand-colored wood engraving published by Harper’s Weekly, 1865.

President Lincoln’s Reinauguration at the Capitol.  Published by Harper’s Weekly. Hand colored, wood engraving, 1865. [Abraham Lincoln]

The Inauguration of President Harrison. By Thulstrup and Graham. Published by Harper's Weekly. Hand colored wood engraving, 1889.

The Inauguration of President Harrison. The Procession Returning from the Capitol. By Thulstrup and Graham. Published by Harper’s Weekly. Hand colored wood engraving, 1889. [Benjamin Harrison].

The Inauguration Ball in the Pension Building, Washington.  By Thulstrup and Graham. Published by Harper’s Weekly. Hand colored wood engraving, 1889.

The Inauguration Ball in the Pension Building, Washington. By Thulstrup and Graham. Published by Harper’s Weekly. Hand colored wood engraving, 1889. [Benjamin Harrison].

The Inauguration Ball. By G. W. Peters. Published by Harper's Weekly. Handcolored wood engraving, 1893.

The Inauguration Ball. By G. W. Peters. Published by Harper’s Weekly. Hand colored wood engraving, 1893. [Grover Cleveland].

Inauguration Day in Washington.  View from the Dome of the New Congressional Library - Crowds Gathering to Witness the Ceremony at the East Front of the Capitol. By G. W. Peters. Published by Harper's Weekly. Hand colored wood engraving, 1889. [Benjamin Harrison].

Inauguration Day in Washington. View from the Dome of the New Congressional Library – Crowds Gathering to Witness the Ceremony at the East Front of the Capitol. By G. W. Peters. Published by Harper’s Weekly. Hand colored wood engraving, 1889. [Benjamin Harrison].

The Inauguration Ball, Washington, March 4th. The Entrance to North Wing of the Treasury Building. - Arrival of Guests. By James E. Taylor. Published by Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper. Wood engraving, 1869. [Ulysses S. Grant].

The Inauguration Ball, Washington, March 4th. The Entrance to North Wing of the Treasury Building. – Arrival of Guests. By James E. Taylor. Published by Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper. Wood engraving, 1869. [Ulysses S. Grant].

The Inauguration of President Garfield. By A. B. Frost. Published by Harper’s Weekly. Wood engraving, 1881.  [James A. Garfield].

The Inauguration of President Garfield. By A. B. Frost. Published by Harper’s Weekly. Wood engraving, 1881. [James A. Garfield].

 

 

New Additions: Currier & Ives

NEW ADDITIONS bannerNEW ADDITIONSWe recently added several Currier & Ives lithographs to our website. Among the lithographic companies, the printmaking firm of Currier & Ives produced some of the most iconic and popular American art of the 19th century. The company, headed by Nathaniel Currier (1813-1888) and James Merritt Ives (1824-1895), specialized in publishing hand colored lithographic prints that were sold inexpensively to the growing American middle class.

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During its early years, the firm was primarily known for its commercial work- printing advertising, letterheads, music sheets, or other work that it was paid to produce. Nathaniel Currier was  interested in being more than a commercial printing shop and was continuously looking for opportunities to sell images to the public. His first foray into selling directly to the public was creating images for newsworthy events. Almost all the newspapers before the late 1850′s were not illustrated. The enterprising Currier hired artists to created images for the sensational news stories of the time.

ci_eastern_beauty_1407We do not know exactly when the firm started publishing images for sale to the public, but it is likely that it was fairly early on and probably met with limited success. His first copyrighted image was in 1838.  (Commercial images do not need a copyright; however, images for sale to the public did need image protection, to prevent competitors from taking the image and publishing it themselves). It is also known that by the late 1840′s, the firm was aggressively marketing images to the public for sale as individual prints. By the 1850′s, the company’s influence and success created serious growth in the industry of lithography. Many large folio images were issued and the number of copyrights expanded considerably.

ci_brush_on_road_1404Prices for small folio hand colored lithographs were 20 cents each. The large folios ranged from $3 to $5 each. They were not limited edition publishers, so it is unknown how many impressions were produced of each print. In general, the firm did not make an image unless it felt that it could sell 100 impressions. Over time, their subject matter expanded to included genre scenes, town views, and many portraits. Sporting scenes, especially horse racing and fishing, also found their way onto the lithographic stones, and were very popular.

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The firm of Currier & Ives closed permanently in 1907. During the last fifteen years the firm was not very productive, as tastes had changed and photography, which was invented in 1840, became easily printable by the turn of the century. America lost most of its lithographic houses between the years 1870 and 1910. Cheaper, faster commercial presses were replacing the age old hand-run lithographic presses. The  new presses did not produce images of the same quality as hand printed lithographs, but the savings were more important than quality in commercial work.19868_4714_battle_of_the_wilderness_va_c&i

42617Over the years, there has been a flurry of renewed interest in Currier & Ives lithographs. Many collectors recognize the importance of these images- as the offer a rare pictorial record of the life and activities of the mid 19th century. Capturing scenes of historical significance, including the civil war, as well as offering prints of true artistic merit, the Currier & Ives lithographs have an almost irresistible charm and appeal.

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