Mexican News

Various artists/makers

Not on view

On a hotel porch, a man reads news of the Mexican-American War to a listeners who react with astonishment, elation, or concern. Seated slightly apart, a pensive Black man rests on the steps, accompanied by a child, as a woman above peers out a window. Based on Woodville's painting "War News from Mexico (1848; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art), this print was created for distribution to members of the American Art-Union. The institution boasted nearly nineteen thousand subscribers at its height in 1849–50. For an annual fee of five dollars, subscribers received a fine, large engraving, and were entered in a lottery that distributed original artworks. The Art-Union aimed to educate the public about contemporary American art and had an impressive distribution network that reached members in every state. They encouraged the creation of a national market for landscapes, genre paintings and small bronze sculptures, but flourished for a limited period. No lottery took place in 1851 and the institution dissolved in 1852–53.

Mexican News, Alfred Jones (American, Liverpool, England 1819–1900 New York), Etching and engraving

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