currier and ives disappointment

it’s sad to think the publishing company that created this:

also created this:

Creating a segregated community of black Americans, Darktown prints showcased a full array of negative stereotypes of former slaves who moved north after the Civil War. Portrayed as mentally slow, physically grotesque, and morally inept, African Americans became comical figures to the primarily white consumers of Currier and Ives prints. True to the period’s nativist overtones, the Darktown series was accompanied by similar prints lampooning Irish and Italian immigrants, as well as Roman Catholics. Popular prints were made to satisfy popular demand; as such, this series bears a painfully vivid testament to the racial attitudes of white, middle-class Americans of the late nineteenth century.  http://www.philaprintshop.com/blackimagec&i.html

Even trying to view it in light of the times, it makes me look at my Currier and Ives dishware in a whole new light…

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Filed under Art, Attitude, Christmas

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