Currier & Ives lithographed the West for the railroad.  The coastal scene above presents a California that is both abundant and simple.  A magnificent mountain peaks above clouds.  Ships harbor in the distance and a man walks with his burros towards the village along the coast road.

Idyllic.  Edenic.  An untouched world available to possibility.

Other lithographs of the West by Currier & Ives.

Sharper colors displayed at David Rumsey.

Someone paid $5,175 for one at Christie’s.

This post written by Anneliese Agren