[CURRIER & IVES, pub.] PALMER, F. F. (1812-1876)
A Night on the Hudson. "Through at Daylight"
New York: Currier & Ives, 1864. Hand-colored lithograph. Sheet size: 20 1/2 x 28 1/2 inches.
#47 of the New Best Fifty Currier & Ives prints. The finest of all the steamboat racing scenes.
Passing between Anthony's Nose and Bear Mountain, the two passenger steamboats are seen virtually neck and neck in this midnight race between Albany and New York City. This is one of Fanny Palmer's most memorable and successful pictures. Steamboat racing was a dangerous and thrilling activity that tested the skill of captains and engineers. People often bet on the outcomes, but the races were often impromptu contests to the next landing. Here the artist shows the two vessels as having successfully passed the sharpest turn in the river. 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. Known as Fanny, she worked for Nathaniel Currier for more than twenty-five years. She was, according to Gloria Deak, "the foremost woman lithographer of her time" (Picturing America, 647). Born and raised in England by a cultivated family, she was already an accomplished painter and lithographer when she came to America in 1844, at which time she exhibited two works at the National Academy of Design. By 1849, she was working for Currier producing landscapes and still lifes. She lithographed these prints herself, usually after her own sketches.
Conningham 4474; Gale 4860.