John Rogers: American Stories
Rogers wished to make his sculptures available and affordable to the widest possible audience. He advertised extensively, established a factory for large-scale production, and took great pains to ship the finished pieces intact to locations all over the country. Often selling for $15 apiece, Rogers’s works became commonplace in the homes of middle- and upper-class Americans in the later nineteenth century, an era when most Americans had little access to works of art, or even serviceable reproductions. More than any other artist of his era, Rogers reached Americans en masse, addressing issues that shaped their lives and that defined the American experience.
In addition to forty plasters and nineteen master bronzes that he used to create the plasters, ephemeral materials from the New-York Historical Society Library and Print Room such as mail order catalogues, advertisements and stereograph views will vividly illustrate how his works were presented and promoted to the public. The exhibition will be enriched with a selection of paintings from New-York Historical's acclaimed collection to show how Rogers carried on the American genre tradition.