A one-hour art documentary that reveals the exciting period of American history from 1835 to 1900 as portrayed by Nathaniel Currier and James Ives when they produced colored engravings for general sale to the people during the most exciting and robust years America has ever known. By the selective use of Currier and Ives' prints, a social document has been filmed to give us a comprehensive look and a better understanding of the way of life of the people and the most important events of our past, a picture of the expanding and building age in the United States during the Industrial Revolution. In addition the film covers the biographies of two astute businessmen, Currier and Ives, who successfully combined art and business; the story of the firm and its operation; the artists they employed; and the technique of lithography. Before the invention of photography and modern printing techniques, Currier and Ives -- by making hand prints from stones and by coloring the prints individually by hand -- produced millions of popular prints to report on our nation's activities and to give our ancestors a visual sense of who they were. An authority on Currier and Ives and one of the foremost collectors of their prints, Ladd MacMillan, is the on camera guide.
Bronze Award from the International Film and TV Festival of New York in November of 1978