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The Rise of Lithography

From Audio: Annabeth Hayes | Currier & Ives

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station description Leading scholars from across the nation introduce our small Tennessee town to artis... read more
Polk's America
Duration: 03:15
Master Printer Phil Sanders explains how the rise of lithography in Polk's America shaped the ways in which Americans received information.
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Master Printer Phil Sanders explains how the rise of lithography in Polk's America shaped the ways in which Americans received information.
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lithography ushered in a brand new era, an image consumption. By the middle of the 19th century, photography was able to produce color images on such a scale as had never been seen before. As a result, it became possible for the publishers of printed images to begin to reflect society back to people in ways that they were not accustomed to with cheap printed material. It became possible to reflect the culture back in many different ways. Ways that were aspirational promoting, say, the purchasing of products or the way in which to live a life promoting news or events of the day clearly demonstrating events of the time or also to help create a social structure from which to operate with career knives participated fully in this. Their images were disseminated widely. They printed thousands and thousands of impressions of these images and made many of them over there Long tenure as a company, it's easy to look at some of the more famous images where you see, say, the sleigh writing scenes or pastoral landscapes and settings, and think about the beauty of nature or simplicity of life. But when you get into things such as the dark town, Siri's. You start to see the power and influence that a printed image can have over the maintenance of the status quo. When it comes to the social structure of a society. The dark town images, without a doubt, are images that promote a racist agenda, that which would was intended to demean and disenfranchise African Americans. At the time, it was intended to maintain a feeling of white supremacy or white superiority within the society. Through printed imagery, it had twofold effect. When you think about how a culture sees itself, there's those who see this as a reflection of the way that they believed There's those that see this as a reflection of what they worked or fought against narrow those who are the recipient off that sort of content that ideology was in the larger society. So images, no matter if they're advertising or if they're intended to be a consumer, images something for entertainment or enjoyment. They have a large effect on shaping and developing the psyche, so the publishers have a great responsibility and choosing what it is that they put out into the world, especially when something is in multiple. It's one thing. If an image is created and there's one of them and you have to take great pains or effort to go see this particular image, it's another thing. When there are thousands of that image that air disseminated out and spread broadly, whose access to that image becomes more commonplace, it becomes easier. The threshold to see that work requires less of the audience member being their career. And I've also printed works for very expensive sums. It made it possible for people to collect those and then those images to hang in homes or in businesses and continue to have influence long after the time of purchase and their point of printed e.
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