How Currier and Ives Imagined America | Newberry

How Currier and Ives Imagined America

Led by Bryan LeBeau
Wednesday, April 27, 2022
Four sessions. Wednesday, April 27-May 18.



Newberry Adult Education Seminars will meet both virtually and in the building for the Winter/Spring term. Although we are still primarily virtual, you will find a smaller selection of in-person seminars in the schedule. For more information about the Newberry’s virtual seminars, including a Zoom tutorial, please see our Virtual Seminars FAQ page. If you have questions about online learning, please reach out to Registration opens Wednesday, January 19th at 9am (Central time). Registration will take place through our online platform, Learning Stream.

Register via Learning Stream here

Seminar Description

Nathaniel Currier started his publishing business in 1834, and together with his partner, James Ives, the company became known as “the best, cheapest, and most popular firm in a democratic country.” Indeed, the company mass produced millions of inexpensive lithographs on over 7,000 subjects that to this day offer the most comprehensive collection of images of how nineteenth-century Americans both saw and imagined their nation and its people. Collectors tend to favor those images that present an idealized and/or nostalgic view of life in the nineteenth century, but upon closer inspection, we find more realistic, even darker, views of American life and the challenges it faced and feared, including urban life, race, and immigration. In this seminar, we will explore a wide range of Currier and Ives lithographs and they world they pictured..

Four sessions. Registration – $170/$153

Bryan Le Beau recently retired as Provost and Professor of History at the University of Saint Mary. Currently, he is an adjunct professor at the University of Missouri – Kansas City and Georgetown University and the author of “Currier and Ives: America Imagined.”

Materials List


  • No Required Materials

First Reading:

  • There is no first reading assignment.

Cost and Registration Information 

Registration Information

Registration opens at 9 am (CST) on Wednesday, January 19th . Newberry Associates members at the Literati level and above will have access to early registration beginning January 12th at 10am. Learn more about membership benefits and becoming a Newberry Associate.

Please note: The Newberry uses Learning Stream for all Adult Education Seminar registrations. For more information about registration, including a guide to online registration, see our Registration Information page. Questions? Please contact seminars program staff via email at

We offer a 10% discount to members, seniors, and students.

This seminar is part of the Newberry’s Adult Education Seminars Program. Learn more about registering for a seminar, program policies, or teaching a seminar.