Many of us have memories associated with the sights, sounds, and smells of the holidays that have a magical way of transporting us back to our childhood holidays as if they were yesterday. Freshly baked cookies for some. Carolers with jingle bells for others.
For me, the holiday season arrives when a Currier and Ives greeting card shows up in my mailbox. I remember as a child holding these cards so close to my eyes with the hope of catching a glimpse of a detail I may have missed from afar. I looked at them as if I were peering through a window, sneaking a peek for something just out of sight around the corners of the frame. As you likely know, Nathaniel Currier and James Merritt Ives produced thousands of lithographs, mostly in the mid- to late-19th century, capturing the essence of everyday life in printed art that was affordable for common folk. Sentimental scenes of farm life, horse-drawn sleighs, and bucolic settings were among their most popular and adorned many a holiday card over the decades. Prints with names such as “The Farmers Home” and “Winter Wood” said it all.