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By the “Foremost Woman Lithographer of her Time” (Deak)
New York City/ Brooklyn/ New Jersey.
PALMER, Fanny F. (Artist & Lithographer)/ CURRIER & IVES [New York, 1860]
New York Bay. From Bay Ridge, L.I. .
17 x 22 inches.
Lithograph with original hand color; few short marginal tears, some extending slightly into image, professionally restored, some light soiling, overall good.
A fine view that richly embodies the Currier & Ives aesthetic, with its emphasis on the undisturbed orchard setting of then Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, in the foreground, with New York City and New Jersey towns quietly in the distance. The color palette features the lush greens of late summer with the apple orchard at first picking. Castle Garden and Governor’s Island are visible in the distance along with the faint outlines of Hoboken and Jersey City. Two of the harbor’s islands are indicated by their earlier names: Gibbet now Ellis and Bedlows now Liberty islands.
"It is likely that during the latter half of the nineteenth century more pictures by Mrs. Fanny Palmer decorated the homes of ordinary Americans than those of any other artist, dead or alive," wrote Ewell L. Newman, a Currier & Ives specialist. Frances Flora Bond Palmer (b. England 1812-d. Brooklyn 1876) was associated with the Currier and Ives firm for over 25 years. Joining the company as a staff artist 1849, Palmer created over two hundred images, ranging from small works celebrating everyday life to larger ones of epic style, such as The Rocky Mountains, Emigrants Crossing the Plains (1866) and Across the Continent, Westward the Course of Empire Takes its Way (1866). Her works are in the collections of many American museums including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the New York Historical Society; and the Brooklyn Museum of Art.
Palmer was a creative lithographer, who drew directly on the lithographic stone. With Charles Currier she perfected the lithographic crayon. Trained as a draftsman in England, she was familiar with lithographic art when she came to the United States and introduced to American printers the skill of printing a background tint.
Gale, Currier & Ives: A Catalogue Raisonné 4821; Conningham 4435; cf. Deak 647, 777; Peters, Currier & Ives 4005; Bonfante-Warren, Alexandra. Currier & Ives: Portraits of a Nation. New York: Friedman/Fairfax, 1998. pp. 9, 23-41.
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