Chicago in Early Days. 1779=1857
1893 (dated) 20.5 x 25 in (52.07 x 63.5 cm)
An exceptionally beautiful 1893 Kurz and Allison view of Chicago, Illinois, issued in 1893 to capitalize on the Columbian Exposition or Chicago World's Fair. The image consists of several iconic views of Chicago centered on two contrasting views, Chicago in 1830, three years prior to its founding, appearing at center; and Chicago as a bustling port city, bottom center. The dichotomy presented here underscores the central points of the view - growth, industry, recovery, and prosperity. Surrounding the main view are smaller vignettes illustrating Old Fort Dearborn, the First Settler, Wolf Point, the First Court House, First Rush Medical College, and the Water Works, to name a few.
1893 Columbian ExpositionThe 1893 Columbian Exposition or Chicago World's Fair was a pivotal moment in the history of the United States. Chicago, keen to parade to the world its remarkable recovery from the disastrous 1871 Great Fire of Chicago, won the right to host the World's Fair over New York, Washington D.C., and St. Louis. During its six-month run, nearly 27,000,000 people attended the Columbian Exposition, correlating to roughly half the 1893 population of the United States. Its numerous displays and exhibits established conventions for architecture, design, and decorative arts, in addition to initiating a new era of American industrial optimism.
Publication History and CensusThis view was issued in a single edition by Kurz and Allison for sale at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair.
Kurz and Allison (1880 - c. 1905) was an American publishing firm known for its chromolithographs. Founded by Louis Kurz (1835 - 1921) and Alexander Allison, the firm was based at 267-269 Wabash Avenue in Chicago. In the partnership, it is known that Kurz, an Austrian immigrant, was the lithographer and it is presumed that Allison provided the financial backing. The firm is most well-known for its series of thirty-six battle scenes from the American Civil War. At the time of their publication, the late 1880s and early 1890s, a general nostalgia was prevalent among Civil War veterans (of which Kurz was one), and evidently the company was trying to capitalize on the sentiment. Kurz and Allison's Civil War prints were not the first such prints to be issued, but they were by far the most popular. In a style reminiscent of Currier and Ives, Kurz and Allison lithographs are not meant to be historical representations, and even, from time to time, included historical inaccuracies. Even so, 'prints depicting the Civil War battles by Kurz and Allison are among the most sought-after collectibles of Civil War enthusiasts.' Their prints are also notable for featuring African-American soldiers, a rarity for the era. After the outbreak of the Spanish-American War, the firm published views from famous battles and continued doing so for the campaigns of the Philippine-American War and the Russo-Japanese War.
Very good. Some minor spotting.
Library of Congress, PGA - Kurz and Allison--Chicago in early days ... (D size) [PandP].