Currier & Ives issued a series of colour lithographs embracing all the worst stereotypes about Black Americans. Its Darktown series was, in fact, one of Currier & Ives’ best-sellers, one print alone selling an astounding 73,000 copies. The prints in the Darktown Series feature the full array of negative stereotypes about American Blacks in the post-Civil War period and underscore the American tradition of reducing Blacks to buffoonish cartoon characters. As such, this compilation bears painful, vivid testimony of the racial attitudes of white, middle class Americans during this time.
The prints have been cleaned and mounted by an accredited paper conservator. Discolouration has occured where the original mounts had been glued to the outer borders of each print, the main images have been left unaffected and are good clean impressions.