Little White Doggies printed by Currier & Ives

            The other night I was watching a show about Currier & Ives.  Currier and Ives are probably the most well known printmakers ever; certainly of their time.  I was first kind of introduced to Currier & Ives at my internship last year.  We had some of their prints in the exhibit so I got to research them and find their connection to the theme of the exhibit.  I love prints, and the ones produced by Currier & Ives are no exception.  On the TV show someone mentioned that part of the reason their prints are so popular is because they carry with them nostalgia for America’s past.  It made me realize that a lot of the art I like is nostalgia driven.

            I love vintage advertising; I love old prints like Currier & Ives…I even like old music.  It makes me wonder how much influence nostalgia has on our tastes.  As for the old music, I know I like it at least partially because it reminds me of my grandparents.  But as for the art I’m not sure if it’s nostalgia that makes me like these things, since they were all from long before I was born, and I can’t think of a direct connection to my past.  Maybe it’s just an appreciation for the aesthetic of the time.  But I think nostalgia does drive our tastes at least some of the time.  I think we like the comfort of being surrounded by things that remind us of our youth.  Obviously this doesn’t apply to everyone.  But I think a lot of times we find ourselves drawn to things and not really know why.  And I think if you looked a bit closer you’d realize it’s because it reminds you of something from your past.  Be it an event, emotion, person or object – something.  Nostalgia can be a powerful beast. 

The Roadside Mill printed by Currier & Ives