Museum and Library Closures

The New-York Historical Society will be closed on September 23, and select spaces will be closed September 24. For details, please visit our calendar.

"Santa Claus in Camp"

"Santa Claus in Camp"
Title
"Santa Claus in Camp"
Date 
January 3, 1863
Credit Line 
New-York Historical Society Library
Object Number 
LIB.E171.H29.5
Gallery Label 
The vavarian born artist Thomas Nast's cartoons of the Tammany Tiger, Uncle Sam, and other iconic figures have become part of the popular imagination. An artist and engraver, Nast drew regularly on political subjects for the national periodical Harper's Weekly. His Santa Claus, which reflects German ideas about the old man, appeared first in 1863, and was gradually refined into the image we know today - the basis of the ubiquitous jolly figure used to market everything from soft drinks to lingerie. This image of Santa distributing gifts to Union soldiers in the midst of the Civil War marks the initial appearance in print of a Nast Santa. The image was intended to evoke powerful feelings on the home front.
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group