The Library Company of Philadelphia's Program in Early American Economy and Society (PEAES), in collaboration with the Visual Culture Program, will hold a conference on "Representations of Economy: Lithography in America from 1820 to 1860." The conference will meet in Philadelphia on October 15, 2010. It is free and open to all those interested, but registration is required. As the organizers explain:
The conference program is now available; papers will be posted closer to the conference date. Please see the conference site for complete information.
Most Americans living in the four decades after 1820 witnessed rapid and deep changes in their economic conditions. . . .The great variety of changes wrought in America during this era was captured in print by an array of artists, draftsmen, printers, and distributors in the new profession of lithography. They created hundreds of graphic works, printed ephemera, and stunning hand-colored plates that conveyed the nature of economic changes. Lithography not only had an impact on the print culture of the era; it was also an industry that transformed working lives and directed the public’s “eye” toward commerce and shopping, fashion, agricultural fairs, architecture, manufacturing, belching smoke in the skyline, the rising height of storefronts, and the lurking dangers of new tenements and open-air markets.
Interior view of L. J. Levy & Co.’s
Dry Goods Store, Philadelphia, c. 1857
(Free Library of Philadelphia)