The present hand-colored lithograph was produced as part of the funeral and mourning culture in the United States during the 19th century. Before the printmaking boom of the 1830s, however, such inexpensive memorial images were not widely available. These prints became popular as ways of remembering loved ones, an alternative to portraiture of the deceased or to meticulous hand-embroidered memorials often made by female academy students. In the image, the urn-topped monument contains a space where a family could inscribe the name and death dates of a deceased loved one, though this example was never used. In the variations of this image type produced by the Kellogg firms, as well as their competitors Currier & Ives, the combination of mourners indicates the market for such prints among families in different situations. This lithograph, for example, shows a young man and woman in morning clothes, perhaps suggesting the loss of a child. Behind the figures are weeping willows, whose branches regenerate after being cut and are thus symbolic of Christ's Resurrection. Similarly, a steeple emerges in the distance, indicating the church as life's indispensable guide.
12.5 x 8.75 inches, artwork
23 x 19 inches, frame
Inscribed in the stone bottom left "Kellogg & Comstock, 150 Fulton St. New York & 136 Main St. Hartford Conn."
Inscribed in the stone bottom right "Ensign & Thayer, 12 Exchange St. Buffalo"
Framed to conservation standards using 100 percent rag matting and TruVue Conservation Clear glass, housed in a gold gilded moulding.
Overall toning to image and some minor abrasions to frame.
Compare with Finlay, cat. no. 429