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American ABC: Childhood
in 19th-Century America
November 2, 2006 - January 7, 2007
American ABC: Childhood
in 19th-Century America, one of the most comprehensive
exhibitions in recent decades to deal with American childhood, will be on
view at the Portland Museum of Art November 2, 2006 through January 7, 2007.
The exhibition features approximately 110 works by such American artists
as Winslow Homer, Thomas Eakins, George Catlin, Eastman Johnson, and Lilly
Over the course of the 19th century, the United States
grew from an infant republic to a powerful nation with a prominent place
in world affairs. American ABC demonstrates how portrayals of the
nation's youngest citizens took on an important symbolic role in the United
States' long journey towards maturity, and it provides a window into the
everyday life of the period-the world of families, children's pastimes,
and the routines of the schoolhouse. By linking the forces of transformation-urbanization,
war, technology, territorial expansion-to portrayals of childhood, American
ABC will provide special insight into the development of the United
American ABC encompasses six
themes that address the most important issues in 19th-century America. The
Country Boy discusses the agrarian ideals of American democracy and
the definition of manhood, and Daughters of Liberty examines the
roles assigned to the nation's future wives and mothers. Children of
Bondage and The Ragamuffin deal with the issues of slavery and
immigration, while the situation of Native Americans is the subject of The
Papoose. Concluding the themes, The New Scholar considers contemporary
attitudes toward education and the idea that a system of public schools
could unite the many peoples of America.
Using paintings, prints, photographs, and books selected
from major museums, libraries, archives, and private collections throughout
the United States, American ABC explores the connection between images
of the American child and the democratic ideals of the young United States.
The exhibition includes a wide variety of illustrated children's books from
the 19th century, such as Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry
Finn, Noah Webster's Elementary Spelling Book, McGuffey's readers,
and colorful ABC primers, as well as other materials such as needlework,
children's crockery, and illustrated magazines.
The exhibition's companion book, written by Claire Perry,
Curator of American Art at the Cantor Arts Center, and published by Yale
University Press, expands on the themes of the exhibition and presents new
research on the social and economic significance of childhood in 19th-century
America. The companion book will be available in the Museum Store.
The exhibition was organized by the Iris & B. Gerald
Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University. The exhibition, accompanying
catalogue, and related programs are made possible by the generosity of Carmen
Christensen with additional support from Peter and Helen Bing, the Hohbach
Family Fund, and Cantor Arts Center members. This exhibition has been generously
sponsored by UnumProvident.
Text panels for the exhibition
Americans of the 19th century were keenly aware of their
role as the heirs of the Founding Fathers and the guardians of a new nation
"of the people, by the people, and for the people." Guided by
the advice of the Revolutionary generation, they believed that the health
of the republic depended on the creation of a virtuous citizenry ready to
assume the responsibilities of self-government. As political leaders, editors,
novelists, ministers, and educators debated ways to enlighten and uplift
the body politic, the nurture and education of children became a dominant
theme in public life. Children came to be seen as the key to the nation's
longevity and the guarantee that the United States' democratic institutions
would endure. In an environment charged with both optimism and anxiety about
the future, images of children in paintings, prints, advertisements, schoolbook
illustrations, and photographs helped to provide citizens with a sense of
the underlying stability of their society. Many of these pictures showed
idealized children in rural settings, confirming that the agrarian class
Thomas Jefferson had called the bedrock of the nation was renewing itself
in the nation's abundant open spaces. Other portrayals openly confronted
the most contentious issues of the day-urban poverty, racial inequality,
immigration, industrialization-and reduced them to reassuringly Lilliputian
Though most portrayals of children emanated from the northeastern
United States, these images had broad appeal across the nation. Audiences
with varying class and regional alignments enjoyed Currier and Ives prints
of roly poly toddlers and playful farm boys. As advances in printing technology
increased the availability of publications for and about children, Americans
also eagerly bought ABC books and primers published by Noah Webster and
William McGuffey, and child care manuals by recognized authorities. This
community of shared interests centering on the child transcended the partisan,
geographic, and economic barriers that impeded the growth of a sense of
national identity. During the course of the century, the culture of childhood
became an important part of the processes through which the fragmented assembly
of states that existed before the Civil War became the singular United States-
a nation with an increasingly centralized government that defined itself
by the motto: "E Pluribus Unum."
The Country Boy
The United States of the 19th century was a young nation
and its citizens were also youthful. In 1830, one third of the population
was less than ten years old and the median age was 16. Eager to define who
they were as a people and to show that their nation was different-and better-than
the nations of the Old World, Young America asserted its identity through
patriotic ballads, novels about frontier adventures, political satires,
and pictures that described typical citizens of the republic.
The Country Boy was one of the new national types to emerge
in the imagery of this period and a figure that became a commonplace subject
for fine paintings exhibited in New York galleries as well as prints that
decorated middle-class parlors. Forthright and full of energy, the Country
Boy embodied the simple virtues that citizens associated with their fledgling
democracy. American audiences applauded the Country Boy's independent spirit,
which often manifested itself as a healthy disregard for the authority of
teachers, parents, and clergymen. Over the course of the century, the Country
Boy came to represent not only the nation's political and social freedoms,
but also the unpretentiousness and flair for invention that Americans believed
was the essence of the national character.
- That the safety of the republic depends on the virtue
of the people is a truth that cannot be too assiduously taught; and that
it is the business of the young, as well as the old, to help on the cause
of goodness, cannot be too strongly impressed.
- - Catherine M. Sedgewick, The Boy of Mount Rhigi,
- Begin with the infant in his cradle.
- Let the first word he lisps be WASHINGTON.
- - Noah Webster, An American Selection of Lessons in
Reading and Speaking, 1789
- Joey was a country boy,
- Father's help and mother's joy:
- In the morning he rose early,
- That's what made his hair so curly;
- Early went to bed at night,
- That's what made his eyes so bright;
- Ruddy as a red-cheeked apple;
- Playful as his pony Dapple;
- Even the nature of the rose
- Wasn't quite as sweet as Joe's.
- - The Nursery: A Monthly Magazine for Youngest Readers, 1878
Daughters of Liberty
During the 19th century, the belief in "separate spheres"
of the genders in behavior, work, and creative expression shaped the boundaries
of American society. Males were identified with exploration, inventiveness,
and enterprise, while females were thought to be naturally inclined toward
patience, kindness, thrift, and other virtues that revolved around the home.
Praised by political leaders and ministers as creatures of superior moral
influence, females were appointed the guardians of the nation's democracy.
They were encouraged to act as moral guides for their brothers and husbands
and, though they did not have the right to vote themselves, were charged
with the nurture and education of future voters.
While citizens mapped out the separate territories of males
and females, pictures of American girls became a pervasive presence on magazine
covers, billboards, soap labels, calling cards, and in newspapers and art
galleries. Depictions of girlhood generally adhered to a narrow range of
subjects: gathering flowers and fruits, sewing, cooking, playing with pets,
minding siblings, and other tasks that represented the routines of domestic
life-as well as the parameters of the female sphere. For male citizens who
were busy directing their energies to the work of state-building, images
of little embroiderers, flower girls, and pie-makers promised that westward
expansion and free enterprise would go hand-in-hand with well managed households
and delicious dinners served on time.
- In this land of precarious fortunes, every girl should
know how to be useful.
- - Lydia Maria Child, The Girl's Own Book, 1834
Children of Bondage
Pictures of African-American children were widely popular
during the 19th century, and they were viewed and purchased by audiences
representing a broad range of regional and political backgrounds. Drawing
on an extensive repertory of stereotypes built up since colonial times,
portrayals of African-American children were also inspired by depictions
in contemporary literature and minstrel theater. By the 1850s, when debates
over slavery reached a fever pitch across the land, the image of the black
child had become a charged subject that aroused deep emotions in Americans
from both the North and the South. Abolitionist tracts included images and
stories about infants on the auction block, while pro-slavery authors published
books with illustrations of contented slave youngsters playing on plantations.
Even artists hoping to steer clear of racial controversies created paintings
of African-American children and exhibited them in the elite galleries of
New York and Philadelphia -- as if the innocence of those portrayed might
somehow transcend the ugliness of the struggle that culminated with the
- I was seldom whipped by my old master, and suffered little
from anything else than hunger and cold. I suffered much from hunger, but
much more from cold. In hottest summer and coldest winter, I was kept almost
naked-no shoes, no stockings, no jacket, no trousers, nothing on but a
coarse tow linen shirt, reaching only to my knees . . . .
- Our food was coarse corn meal called mush. It
was put into a large wooden tray or trough, and set down on the ground
. . . He that ate fastest got most; he that was strongest secured the best
place; and few left the trough satisfied.
- - Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick
Douglass, An American Slave, 1845
- I is the Infant, from the arms
- Of its fond mother torn
- And, at public auction, sold
- With horses, cows, and corn.. . . .
- Q is the Quarter, where the slave
- On coarsest food is fed,
- And where, with toil and sorrow worn,
- He seeks his wretched bed.
- - The Anti-Slavery Alphabet,
In the second quarter of the 19th century, a new theme
emerged in American art, one that had appeared only rarely in paintings,
books, and journals before that time: the ragamuffin. Where images of country
boys, little ladies, and slave children dealt with beliefs about democracy,
males and females, and race that had been prevalent since the days of the
Revolution, the street child was a novel subject. For most Americans, the
realization that a mass of impoverished "street arabs" roved the
nation's cities was shocking and incomprehensible. Citizens at mid-century
were astonished by published statistics that revealed the exponential growth
of American cities-and troubled by the fact that much of it was driven by
skyrocketing rates of immigration. More than 1.5 million European immigrants
arrived in the United States between 1840 and 1850. During the 1850s an
additional 2.5 million immigrants came to the United States, and most settled
in the large cities of the northeast.
When depictions of street children first began to creep
into visual and literary media in the 1830s and 1840s, civic authorities
in Boston and New York had already been busy for decades trying to deal
with large-scale homelessness in their cities. Americans grew accustomed
to seeing little ragamuffins, both on city streets and in pictures displayed
in homes and art galleries. For audiences disturbed by newspaper accounts
documenting the growing problem of poverty in America's cities, pictures
of vagrant children represented a way to fathom the troublesome issue of
scarcity in a land of abundance.
- The Little Chimney Sweep
- Some time ago there was a little chimney sweep, who had
to sweep a chimney in the house of a very rich lady. The little sweep went
up at the kitchen fireplace, and came down in the chamber. When he got
into the chamber he found himself all alone. He stopped a moment to look
around at the rich furniture. As he looked on the top of the table, he
saw an elegant gold watch, with gold seals to it. He had never seen anything
so beautiful before, and he took it into his hands. As he listened to hear
it tick, it began to play sweet music. He then thought, if it only belonged
to him, how rich he would be. He thought he might hide it in his blanket.
- More About the Little Chimney Sweep
- While the little sweep boy was thinking about taking
the lady's gold watch, he felt cold all over, and trembled with fear.
- "No," said he, "I cannot take this watch.
I would rather be a sweep and always be poor, than steal." He laid
the watch down, and crept up the chimney.
- - William H. McGuffey, McGuffey's Eclectic First Reader,
Until the final decades of the 19th century, Native American
children were an uncommon subject in the artworks and popular images that
were disseminated around the country. Even artists who specialized in Indian
themes gave native children only the most cursory treatment in their works.
The prevalent notion that America's original inhabitants were a people doomed
to extinction by progress may have discouraged portrayals of a thriving
new generation of Native Americans. At the same time, the remoteness of
many native settlements made it difficult for artists to observe tribal
The publicity surrounding the Indian Removal Act of 1830,
which mandated that all Native Americans living east of the Mississippi
move west of the Mississippi, heightened artists' interest in documenting
all aspects of Indian society. During the 1830s and 1840s, a group of artist-explorers,
including George Catlin and John Mix Stanley, traveled extensively to make
visual accounts of tribes pushed westward by development. Still, artists'
representations of domestic scenes that included children were usually outnumbered
by pictures of buffalo hunts and tribal warfare, reflecting the taste of
eastern audiences for such subjects.
After the completion of the transcontinental railroad line
in 1869, Indian children began to appear more frequently in paintings, magazine
illustrations, advertisements, and documentary photographs. The papoose
in particular emerged as an icon of peaceful tribal life -- and a preview
of the exotic sights that travelers could expect to see on tourist excursions
to the west. At the same time, artists' new awareness of Indian youth was
linked to the American public's call for changes in the federal government's
Indian policies during the 1880s and 1890s. Much of the newly enacted reform
legislation of this period centered on the welfare of Native American children.
- Do you know that the very place where Boston now stands,
was once covered with woods, and that in those woods lived many Indians?
Did you ever see an Indian?. . . The Indians go nearly naked, except in
winter. Their skin is not white like ours, but reddish, or the color of
copper. When I was a boy, there were a great many that lived at no great
distance from Boston. They lived in little huts or houses called Wigwams.
. . The Indians had no chairs to sit in, nor tables to eat from. They had
no books to read, and had no churches or meeting houses. In winter, they
sometimes wore skins of bears and deer, which they shot with bows and arrows,
or with guns.
- - Samuel Griswold Goodrich. The Tales of Peter Parley,
About America, 1827.
The New Scholar
Pictures of children in school, and the lessons in textbooks
read by schoolchildren across the United States, embodied American ideas
about the privileges and responsibilities of a democratic government. Paintings
and lithographs of school subjects tended to celebrate childhood freedoms,
reveling in anarchic classrooms, happy truants, and the joys of recess frolics.
Schoolbooks, on the other hand, were dominated by themes of regularity,
industry, and obedience. The divide between artworks' rowdy egalitarianism
and the reverence for tradition expressed in educational publications was
a symptom of the nation's longstanding ambivalence about schooling. Americans
often associated education with the high-falutin' habits of the upper crust.
Many "self-made" citizens wore their lack of cultivation as a
patriotic emblem -- proof of their contempt for Old Word pomp and circumstance.
Nevertheless, during the first half of the century, Americans
across the country came to embrace the idea of public education and to believe
that "common" schooling was the birthright of the youngest generation.
They praised education as a great common denominator, one that had the power
to bring into harmony the disparate voices of America's far-flung populace.
At the same time, many citizens remained unconvinced that schools could
fulfill their lofty mission of uniting the nation. They were also wary of
new school-related taxes and the new powers the government had assumed to
organize a nationwide school system. As debates about how and when children
should be educated flared up, Americans were forced to ponder deeply the
meaning of democracy -- and to back up their convictions with their votes
and their pocketbooks.
Artists responded to the American public as it grappled
with the subject of public education, offering audiences a peek inside the
classrooms and schoolyards where country boys and girls, immigrant children,
former slaves, and young tribespeople were busy learning arithmetic and
reciting their ABCs. Their works helped to show that little scholars across
the country were earning their right to claim the privileges of citizenship,
and gave substance to the Founding Fathers' cherished vision of a secure
future for the nation.
- It cannot be doubted that in the United States the instruction
of the people powerfully contributes to the support of the democratic republic.
- - Alexis De Tocqueville, Democracy in America,
- Exhibition checklist by section
- Introduction Section
- Brown, John George. Marching Along, 1863. Oil on canvas, 9-1/8
x 12-1/2 in. Private collection.
- Blythe, David Gilmour. Boys Playing Marbles, n.d. Oil on canvas,
25 x 30 in. Smithsonian American Art Museum,Washington, D.C.
- Eakins, Thomas. Baby at Play, c. 1878. Oil on canvas, 32-1/4
x 48-1/4 in. The National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. John hay and
- Edouart, Auguste. Caroline Gardiner Cary, Sarah Gray Cary,
and Richard Cary, 1842. Silhouette, 12 x 15 in. Boston Athenaeum, Massachusetts.
Gift of Miss Caroline E. P. Cabot.
- Johnson, Eastman. Boyhood of Lincoln, 1868. Oil on canvas, 46
x 37 in. The University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor. Bequest of
Henry C. Lewis.
- LeClear, Thomas. Interior with Portraits, c. 1865. Oil on canvas,
25-7/8 x 40-1/2 in. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C. Museum
purchase made possible by the Pauline Edwards Bequest.
- Matteson, Tompkins Harrison. Caught in the Act, 1860. Oil on
- 22-1/4 x 18-1/4 in. Vassar College Art Gallery, Poughkepsie, New York.
Gift of Matthew Vassar.
- Read, James B. Portrait of a Boy, 1856. Oil on canvas, 48-3/4
x 36 in. Minneapolis Institute of Art. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Butler.
- Spencer, Lilly Martin. This Little Pig Went to Market, 1857.
Oil on composition board with arched top, 16 x 12 in. Ohio Historical Society,
- Spencer, Lilly Martin. Choose Between, c. 1857. Oil on panel,
10-1/4 x 8-1/4 in. Private collection.
- Sully, Thomas. Juvenile Ambition, 1825. Oil on canvas, 36 1/4
x 28 3/4 in. Hunter Museum of American Art, Chattanooga, Tennessee.
- Unidentified Artist. Mother and Child of Pennsylvania,
c. 1850. Silhouette: paper and brown wash on thin paperboard. The Art Museum,
Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey.
- Weller, F. B. A Doubtful Case, 1872. Stereograph, 3-7/16 x 6-7/8
in. Private collection.
- Books, Journals, Printed Ephemera
- Appleton, publisher. Grandma Easy's New Pictorial Bible Alphabet,
c. 1870. Illustrated book. Private collection. (9-1/8 x 13-1/4 in.--open
to page starting with letter "M").
- Conkey, publishers. Uncle Sam's ABC Book, c. 1900. Illustrated
book. Private collection. ( 6-1/4 x 4 in.-closed).
- Kantner's Illustrated Book of Objects for Children, 1877. Illustrated
book. Private collection. (10-1/2 x 14-3/4 in.-open to pp. 92-93, showing
"flagman" and "flagstaff").
- Magnus, Chas., publishers.Youth's Diamond Alphabetic Library.
New York, 1880s. Illustrated book. Private collection. (4-1/4 x 13-1/4-open
to pages with letters "Y" and "Z" and image of American
- McLoughlin Bros., publishers. Starry Flag ABC Book, 1899. Illustrated
book. Private collection. (10 x 16 in.-open to first page, which starts
- McLoughlin Bros., publishers. Aunt Mayflower's Alphabet, 1870s.
Illustrated book. Private collection. (7 x 13-1/4 in.-open; open to first
page, "APE," "Active," "Artful").
- Turner and Fischer, publishers. My Darling's ABC, c. 1815. Illustrated
book. Private collection. (3-1/2 x 48-1/4 in., extended; to display extended.)
- Wood, Samuel and Sons, publisher. The Young Child's ABC; or First
Book, 1806. Illustrated book. Private collection. (4 x 6-3/4 in.-open
to pp. 6-7, "Elk.")
- The Country Boy
- Brown, John George. The Berry Boy, c. 1877. Oil on canvas, 23
x 15 in. George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum, Springfield, Massachusetts.
- Homer, Winslow. Snap the Whip, 1872. Oil on canvas, 12 x 20
in. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Gift of Christian A. Zabriskie,
- Johnson, Eastman. Back from the Orchard, 1876. Oil on board,
19-7/8 x 11-7/8 in. Hood Museum of American Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover,
New Hampshire. Purchased through the Katherine T. and Merrill G. Beede
1929 Fund; the Mrs. Harvey P. Hood W '18 Fund; a gift from the Estate of
Russell Cowles, Class of 1909; and a gift from Jose Guerrero, by exchange.
- Mount, William Sidney. Boy Hoeing Corn, 1840. Oil on panel,
15 x 115/8 in. Long Island Museum of American Art, History, and Carriages,
Stony Brook, New York.
- Works on paper
- Homer, Winslow. Last Days of the Harvest, 1873. Wood engraving,
8 x 13 in. Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida.
- Homer, Winslow. "Snap the Whip," engraving from Harper's
Weekly, 1873. Private collection. (13-3/4 x 20-3/4 in.-open).
- Homer, Winslow. Waiting for a Bite, 1874. Wood engraving, 9
x 13-11/16 in. Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College,Winter Park,
- Homer, Winslow. Watching the Crows, 1868. Wood engraving, 5-7/8
x 3-3/4 in. Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida.
- Prang, L. and Co., after J.H. Moser. Boy on a Swing, c. 1890.
- 3-3/8 x 5-1/16 in. Hallmark Historical Collection, Kansas City, Missouri.
- Prang, L. and Co., after J.H. Moser. The Barefoot Boy, c. 1890.
Chromolithograph., 16 x 20 in. Hallmark Historical Collection, Kansas City,
- Guerin, F. W. Untitled (country boy fishing) (1), c. 1866. Photograph,
- 25-1/2 x 21-1/2 in. Private collection.
- Guerin, F. W. Untitled (country boy fishing) (2), c. 1866. Photograph,
- 25-1/2 x 21-1/2 in. Private collection.
- Books, journals, printed ephemera
- McGuffey, William. The Eclectic First Reader for Young Children,
Cincinnati, 1836. Illustrated book. Private collection. (8-1/4 x 11 in-open
to pp. 22-23, "Lesson XI, Boys at Play").
- Twain, Mark.The Adventures of Huck Finn, 1885. Illustrated book.
Private collection. (7 x 8-1/4 in-closed; display closed.)
- Twain, Mark.The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. New York, 1876. Illustrated
book. Private collection.
- Warner, Charles Dudley. Being a Boy. Boston, 1877. Illustrated
book. Private collection. (7-1/4 x 10-1/2 in.-open to image titled "The
New England Boy" facing 184.)
- New England Botanic Depot, publishers. The Illuminated White Pine
Alphabet, 1870s. Illustrated booklet. Private collection. (7-1/4 x
10-1/2-open to pp. 12-13 with letters U, V, W.)
- Daughters of Liberty
- Eakins, Thomas. Elizabeth with her Dog, c. 1871. Oil on canvas,
13-3/4 x 17 in. San Diego Museum of Art, California. Museum purchase and
a gift from Mr. and Mrs. Edwin S. Larsen.
- Guy, Seymour. Dressing for the Rehearsal, 1867. Oil on
canvas, 18-1/8 x 24-3/8 in. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington,
D.C. Gift of Jennie Anita Guy.
- Guy, Seymour. Girl With Canary (The New Arrival), n.d. Oil on
canvas, 12-1/4 x 9 1/4 in. Private collection.
- Guy, Seymour. Unconscious of Danger, 1865. Oil on canvas,
20 x 16 in. Private collection.
- Johnson, Eastman, Little Girl with Golden Hair (Family Cares),
1873. Oil on canvas, 15 x 11 1/2 in. Shelburne Museum, Shelburne, Vermont.
- Johnson, Eastman. The Party Dress (The Finishing Touch),
1872. Oil on composition board, 20-5/8 x 16-11/16 in. The Wadsworth
Athenaeum Museum of Art, Hartford, Connecticut. Bequest of Mrs. Clara Hinton
- Lambdin, George C. Two Girls Picking Fruit, 1867. Oil on canvas,
18-1/8 x 21-3/4 in. Private collection.
- Lambdin, George C. Girl in Yellow Dress with Fresh Cut Flowers,
n.d. Oil on canvas, 30 x 25 in. Private collection.
- Pering, Cornelia S., Little Girl With Flowers (Emily Mae), 1871.
Oil on canvas, 46 -1/2 x 37 in. Private collection.
- Works on paper
- Brown, John George. Fresh-water Sailor, 1875. Oil on canvas,
17-1/2 x 12-1/8 in. Private collection.
- Prang, L., and Co., after J.H. Moser. Curly Haired Girl, c.
1890. Chromolithograph, 15 x 15 in. Hallmark Historical Collection, Kansas
- Prang, L., and Co., after J.H. Moser. Girl with Flowers, c.
1890. Chromolithograph, 19 x 24 in. Hallmark Historical Collection, Kansas
- Prang, L., and Co., after J.H. Moser. Playing with Dolls, c.
1890. Chromolithograph, 20-3/8 x 25-13/16 in. Hallmark Historical Collection,
Kansas City, Missouri.
- Griswold, M.M. The Picture Book, #31 Young Folks Series, 1871.
Stereograph, 3-3/8 x 6-7/8 in. Private collection.
- Parkinson, M. B. Little Girl Washing, 1898, Photograph. Library
of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C.
- Books, Journals, Printed Ephemera
- Alcott, Louisa May. Little Women. Boston, 1868. Illustrated
book. Private collection. (4-1/2 x 6-3/4 in.-open to frontispiece.)
- Child, Lydia. The Girl's Own Book. New York, 1834. Illustrated
book. Private collection. (5-1/2 x 9 in.-open to frontispiece.)
- Francis, C.S., and Co., publishers. Rhymes for The Nursery,
1837. Illustrated book. Private collection. ( 5 1/4 x 7 5/8 in.-open to
pp. 100-101, "Learning to work.")
- Hurd & Houghton, publishers. A Treasury of Pleasure Books for
Young People, 1865. Printed book, 5-1/2 x 7-1/2 in. Private collection.
- McGuffey, William. The Eclectic First Reader, 1836 (reprint,
1982). Illustrated book. Private collection. (8-1/4 x 11 in. --open to
pp. 40-41, "The Good Girl.")
- McGuffey, William. McGuffey's Pictorial Eclectic First Primer,
1836. Illustrated book. Private collection. (8-1/4 x 11 in.--open to pp.
124-125, "Lesson LXXXVI
- McLoughlin Bros., publishers. Little Child's Home ABC Book. New
York, c. 1880. Illustrated book. Private collection. (10-1/4 x 13 in.-open
to "Lesson 5 and 6, 'dog, bee, eat.'")
- McLoughlin, publishers. Miss Rose, c. 1854. Illustrated pamphlet.
Private collection.( 6 x 7 in.-closed. Display back of pamphlet with words
"That I was an American girl")
- McLoughlin Bros., publishers. Mary Goodchild, c. 1854. Illustrated
booklet. Private collection. (4 x 7 in.--open to page with "Mary"
at left seated at a table writing, opening with text "Returned from
her walk . . .")
- McLoughlin Bros., publishers. Freaks and Frolics of Little Girls,
1887. Illustrated book, 11-1/2 x `19 open. Private collection. (open to
first page, "Foolish Fanny.")
- The Nursery, 1879. Vol XXV. Illustrated journal. Private collection.
(7-1/2 x 11-1/4 in.-open. Open to pp. 44-45 with image "The Little
- Children of Bondage
- Eakins, Thomas. Study for "Negro Boy Dancing": The
Boy, 1877. Oil on cardboard, 24-1/4 x 12-3/16 in . National Gallery
of Art, Washington, D.C. Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon.
- Elder, John Adams. A Virginny Breakdown, 1880. Oil on canvas,
8-1/2 x 22-1/4 in. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, The Virginia
- Homer, Winslow. The Watermelon Boys, c. 1876. Oil on canvas,
241/8 x 381/8 in. Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian
Institution, New York. Gift of Charles Savage Homer, Jr.
- Johnson, Eastman. The Negro Boy, 1860. Oil on canvas, 14 x 17-1/8.
National Academy Museum, New York.
- Johnson, Eastman. Hannah Amidst the Vines, 1859. Oil on canvas,
14 x 12 in. Georgetown University Art Collection, Washington, D.C.
- Works on paper
- Prang, L. and Co., after J.H. Moser. The Artist and The Gourmand
(Boy with Watermelon) c. 1890. Chromolithograph, 20-7/16 x 13
-11/16 in. Hallmark Historical Collection, Kansas City, Missouri.
- Unidentified photographer. Portrait of a Well-Dressed Young Boy,
c 1857-58. Sixth-plate ambrotype. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles,
- Unidentified photographer. Portrait of a Young Boy in Fine Clothes,
c 1857-58. Ninth-plate daguerreotype. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles,
- Books, Journals, Printed Ephemera
- The Anti-Slavery Alphabet, 1846. Illustrated book, 6 1/2 x 8 1/2 in.-open.
Private collection. (open to "A is for Abolitionist.")
- Carlton and Porter, publishers.The Child's Anti-Slavery Book,,
1859. Illustrated book, 5 1/2 x 7 1/2 in.-open. Private collection. (open
to page with title "Little Lewis: The Story of a Slave Boy."
- Gray, Iron. The Gospel of Slavery; A Primer of Freedom. New
York, 1864. Illustrated book, 6 1/2 x 9 in.-open.) Private collection.
(open to pages with "B stands for Bloodhound/C stands for Cotton.)
- Thompson, Bigelow, and Brown, publishers. Hand Shadow Stories,
1863. Illustrated book, 6 -3/4 x 10- 1/4 in.-open. Private collection.
(open to pp. 14-15, "Sambo the Contraband.")
- Pyrnelle, Louise-Clark. Diddie, Dumps, and Tot; or, Plantation Child-Life.
New York, 1882. Illustrated book, 6 x 9 1/4 in.-open. Private collection.
(open to image facing title page, "Evening Devotions.")
- Wm. R. Babcock and McCarter and Co., publishers.The Southern Primer;
or, Child's First Lessons in Spelling and Reading, 1860. Illustrated
book, 5 5/8 x 7 1/4 in.-open. Private collection. (open to pp. 26-28, "The
- Stowe, Harriet Beecher. Pictures and Stories from Uncle Tom's
Cabin, 1853. Illustrated book, 8 1/4 x 6 in. Private collection. (open
to p. 24-25, "Topsy Bringing Flowers to Eva.")
- "Golly I's so Wicked I was never Born", 1850s. Theater ticket,
5 x 2 1/4 in. (display side with "Topsy")
- Phil J. Cozans, publisher. Little Eva: The Flower of the South,
c. 1855. Illustrated book, 8 3/4 x 11 in.-open. Private collection. (open
to pp. 2-3.)
- The Ragamuffin
- Bannister, Edward Mitchell. Newspaper Boy, 1869. Oil on canvas,
30 1/8 x 25 1/8 in. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.
- Blythe, David Gilmour. The Match Seller, c. 1859. Oil on canvas,
27 x 22 in. North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh.
- Blythe, David Gilmour. The News Boys, c. 1846-1852. Oil on canvas
mounted on academy board, 29 3/4 x 25 3/4 in. The Carnegie Museum of Art,
Pittsburg. Gift of Haugh and Keenan Galleries, 1856.
- Blythe, David Gilmour. Street Urchins, 1856-1860. Oil on canvas,
27 x 22 in. The Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio.
- Brown, John George. The Beggars, 1863. Oil on canvas, 15 1/6
x 12 1/8 in. Wichita Art Museum, Wichita, Kansas.
- Brown, John George. A Tough Story, 1886. Oil on canvas, 25 x
301/4 in. North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh.
- Inman, Henry. The News Boy, 1841. Oil on canvas, 301/8
x 253/16 in. Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy, Andover,
- Johnson, Eastman. The Young Sweep, 1863. Oil on paper board,
12 1/4 x 9 5/8 in. Private collection.
- Johnson, Eastman. Ragamuffin, c. 1869. Oil on canvas, 11 1/2
x 6 3/8 in. Private collection.
- Riis, Jacob. Street Arabs in their Sleep Quarters, c. 1890.
Photograph, 10 -1/2 x 12 -1/2 in. Jacob A. Riis Collection of the Museum
of the City of New York.
- Riis, Jacob. Street Arabs in Sleeping Quarters (Areaway, of Mulberry
Street), c. 1890. Photograph, 10- 1/2 x 12- 1/2 in. Jacob A. Riis Collection
of the Museum of the City of New York.
- Riis, Jacob.