Organ Grinder


C.G. Bush.  “Street Music–The Organ-Grinder.”  From Harper’s Weekly.  New York: November 17, 1866.  9 x 13.  Wood engraving.  Paper slightly toned.  Very good condition.

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Harper’s Weekly was a New York based newspaper in the last half of the nineteenth and early twentieth century. In weekly issues, Harper’s presented a mixture of news stories, gossip, poetry, and most notably, wood-engraved illustrations. These pictures remain one of the best sources for lively, informative images of nineteenth-century America. With photographs in a primitive stage, and no television, it is through these illustrations that much of the country got its visual information about the events, personalities and places of the time. These illustrations are also one of the few sources we have today for these same things. Of particular note are the genre images of daily life such as this print showing “street music” showing a scene of city residents watching an organ grinder perform.