Louis Maurer Collection
The American Antiquarian Society holds a small archive of original works of art by the artist Louis Maurer (1832-1932). Born in Germany, Maurer arrived in the United States in 1851 and was employed by several print shops in New York City. He worked as a lithographer for T.W. Strong until 1852 when he was hired away by Currier & Ives. Maurer excelled at images of horses and sporting subjects and during the eight years he was employed by Currier & Ives, produced over one hundred prints on these subjects, including such icons as the Life of the Fireman series (Gale 3783-3788) and Preparing for Market (Gale 5280). After a brief time working for Major & Knapp, Maurer went into partnership with Frederick Heppenheimer to form Heppenheimer & Maurer, which existed from 1874 to 1885.
The Society's collection of lithographs includes dozens of prints by Maurer which can be searched via our online catalog. There are also prints in this collection which were formerly owned by Maurer and were once part of the archive. Additionally, Maurer's graphic work appears in our collection of political cartoons and lithographed trade cards.
The Louis Maurer Collection at the Society includes 95 original drawings, watercolors, and oil sketches, a collection of 38 lithographic proofs, most from the Heppenehimer & Maurer era, and a small wooden box housing Maurer's lithographic tools. The drawings are primarily studies of horses and other animals, layout designs for advertising, and preparatory sketches for large lithographs, including two studies for Life in the Woods - Returning to Camp (Gale 3781), which Maurer produced for Currier & Ives in 1860.
The collection was purchased in 1935 from the Maurer family.
- Lauren B. Hewes, Andrew W. Mellon Curator of Graphic Arts