Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve 1862

I came across this Thomas Nast print from the January 3, 1863 issue of Harper's Weekly. I thought it was a pretty moving piece of art. Online I found a description that I thought appropriate:  "Christmas Eve, 1862. Engraving from Harper's Weekly dated January 3, 1863. Nast used prints like these to raise the morale of the soldier in the field and of their families back at home, and help them to bear the hardships of a war dedicated to the preservation of the Union." As we celebrate Christmas Eve we should take a moment to remember those who can't be with their loved ones. While technology may have made it easier for those far apart to communicate that doesn't make the distance any smaller.

Thomas Nast
Library of Congress
c. 1860-1875
Nast, September 7, 1840-December 7, 1902, is perhaps most remembered for creating a modern view of Santa Claus and also the elephant symbol for the Republican party. Nast worked with Harper's Weekly almost continuously from 1859-1886.

A fuller look at the life of Thomas Nast may be found here. A scholarly look at the Nast can be found in the recently released Thomas Nast: The Father of Modern Political Cartoons written by Fiona Deans Halloran.

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