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Part II: Settlement, Expansion, and the Business of City Views
New England Cities

View of the City of Hartford
Robert Havell, Jr. (American, b. England, 1793–1878), after his own design
Color etching and aquatint, printed by William Neale (American, 19th century), published by Robert Havell, Jr., 1841
Deák 508

John James Audubon’s watercolors for The Birds of America were painstakingly etched by Robert Havell, Jr., in 433 life-sized, hand-colored aquatints. After completing this magnum opus in 1838, Havell moved to the United States and settled in Ossining, New York. He focused primarily on landscape painting, but produced a few aquatints of city scenes after his own paintings, following in the tradition and high standards of fellow English transplants John Hill and William James Bennett.

View of Salem, Mass.; View of Lynn, Mass.; View of Beverly, Mass.; View of Danvers, Mass.
Edwin Whitefield (American, b. England, 1816–1892)
Tinted lithograph, printed by W. Endicott & Co. (New York lithographic firm, 1849–52), ca. 1850
Deák 616

Edwin Whitefield was a pioneer in the making and marketing of lithographic city views. He was the first to continually travel around the United States in search of new cities to represent, ushering in the tradition of the itinerant lithographer. Enlisting the help of local editors, he solicited favorable newspaper reviews of his preliminary drawings to ensure him the subscriptions he needed to successfully publish his prints. This strategy ultimately became common practice for artists.

The Print Collection owns one of Whitefield’s sketchbooks, which includes drawings for this lithograph of four Massachusetts cities, including both individual details and compositional sketches. Most of Whitefield’s early views followed the traditional format, picturing the city from a slight elevation, although he would later adopt the popular bird’s-eye-view format. According to the inscription, he based the view of Lynn on a daguerreotype. Virtually from the moment of its invention in 1839, photography was both competition for the view-making industry, and a useful tool for artists producing views.

View of Newburyport, (from Salisbury)
Fitz Hugh Lane (American, 1804–1865), after Alban Jasper Conant (American, 1821–1915)
Tinted lithograph with hand-coloring, printed by Lane and Scott’s Lithography (Boston lithographic firm, ca. 1840–47), published by Alban Jasper Conant, 1846
Deák 546

Fitz Hugh Lane divided his career between painting and printmaking, primarily picturing the areas surrounding Boston and Gloucester, his birthplace. In the 1830s, he apprenticed at William S. Pendleton’s lithography shop, and with a fellow apprentice, John W. A. Scott, opened his own firm in 1844. Around this time he also began painting, soon discovering his love for marine life and coastal landscapes. This view of Newburyport combines both facets of his career. Lane collaborated with Alban Jasper Conant, a marine artist from Vermont, on at least three other lithographs, part of the scarce number of views issued by Lane and Scott.

Provincetown, from Long Point
After a photograph by George H. Nickerson (American, 1835–1890)
Tinted lithograph, published by F. K. Rogers, 1877
Deák 852

When the Mayflower landed on Cape Cod in 1620, the pilgrims emerged on land that later became Provincetown. Sustained in its early years by whaling interests, the city later became a haven for artists, writers, and actors.

Although photography eventually supplanted lithography as a more accurate and less labor-intensive means of reproduction, it was often used as the basis for lithographic views. George Hathaway Nickerson was born in Barnstable, Massachusetts, and was active in Provincetown from 1870 to 1890 making stereographs, a type of photography which produces two nearly identical images that when viewed through a special apparatus, a stereoscope, appear three-dimensional.

Portland, Me.
Charles Parsons (American, b. England, 1821–1910), after John William Hill (American, b. England, 1812–1879)
Lithograph, printed by Endicott & Co. (New York lithographic firm, 1852–86), published by Smith Bros. & Co., 1855
Deák 702

Portland, Maine, is the setting against which this lively port scene, populated by over 200 figures, unfolds. It was rendered by John William Hill, son of the prominent printmaker John Hill. The younger Hill spent his early years producing city views, until, in Portland in 1855, he encountered the writings of John Ruskin, which significantly altered the course of his work by turning him to the countryside for inspiration.

Charles Parsons, working in conjunction with the printers Endicott & Company and the publisher the Smith Brothers, lithographed several of Hill’s views of North American cities. Parsons went on to have a prolific career with Currier & Ives, producing many of their New York City views.

A View of Portsmouth in New Hampshire, Taken from the East Shore
Colored etching, from The Atlantic Neptune, published by Joseph F. W. Des Barres, 1778
Deák 162

Portsmouth, the only seaport in New Hampshire, was included in the first great series of nautical views of the New World, The Atlantic Neptune. Although the charts in the series were notably precise in conveying practical knowledge of the coastline, the charts and views also include picturesque touches, such as this foreground scene of two recumbent cows and an artist sketching. They are much more than purely practical, giving glimpses into the urban settings of Revolutionary-era America.

Note to the checklist. “Deák” refers to the catalogue of American historical prints in the New York Public Library’s collections: Deák, Gloria Gilda. Picturing America 1497-1899. Prints, Maps, and Drawings bearing on the New World Discoveries and on the Development of the Territory that is now the United States. 2 vols. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1988.

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