[CURRIER & IVES,pub.] PALMER, F. F. (1812-1876)
View near Highbridge
New York: Currier & Ives, n.d (c. 1870). Hand-colored lithograph. Medium folio. Image size (including text): 11 7/8 x 16 ", sight. Bird's-eye maple, gold liner, French mat. 24 1/4 x 28"
This bucolic scene was somewhat south of the Highbridge Aqueduct on the Harlem River, in the 1870's still quite rural and pleasant.
Fanny Palmer (1812-1876) was the first woman in the United States to work as a professional artist, and to make a living with her art. She produced more Currier and Ives prints than any other artist, and she was the only female in a business that was dominated by men. Painting was not considered a suitable occupation for a woman, nor was lithography. Her story was not uncommon for Victorian wives, who were expected to keep house and be supported by their husbands. She however pursued a career in England and eventually in America, virtually supporting her family as her husband sank deeper into alcoholism and then supporting it in fact when he fell to his death on a hotel stairway in 1857. This nicely composed scene of what was once the northern shore of Manhattan parallels the Harlem River with a dirt road. There is a rowboat on the river and a couple sits on an old stone dock.