American Studies Home Site Map Gallery of Prints Writing Across the Curriculum Currier & Ives Introduction Currier & Ives Opening

"The Life of a Hunter: A Tight Fix."
"The Life of a Hunter: A Tight Fix."


Scenes of hunting, fishing, and outdoor sports were popular subjects for both "high" and "low" art. Hunting during the mid- to late 1800s gradually became a pastime for Easterners–a luxury rather than a necessity, thanks to the industrialization of meat processing. It was also viewed nostalgically, as a glance back to the days when men had to be larger-than-life to cope with the dangers of the wilderness. Folk heroes such as Davy Crockett became legendary for their hunting prowess and ability to tame Nature.

The fever for hunting was, for a time, a madness of mass extermination. Most people know the story of the bison, which had a population in 1800 of 40 million, and of fewer than 600 by 1883. (32) Less well known is that more than 30 species were badly endangered or made extinct during the same period, including Bald Eagles, California Condors, several types of whales, sea otters, fishers, mink, and elk.

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American Studies Home Site Map Gallery of Prints Writing Across the Curriculum Currier & Ives Introduction Currier & Ives Opening

Site created by Marcy McDonald, American Studies, UVA. Last modified: July 30, 2005. E-mail: asgrp@virginia.edu

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