Louis Prang papers, 1848-1932

Prang, Louis, b. 1824 d. 1909
Printmaker, Lithographer, Publisher
Active in Boston, Mass.

This site provides access to the papers of Louis Prang in the Archives of American Art that were digitized in 2015, and total 261 images.

Funding for the digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Collection size: 1.2 linear feet

Collection Summary: The papers of lithographer Louis Prang date from 1848 to 1932 and measure 1.2 linear feet. Found within the papers are biographical material, writings, art work, card samples, printed material, and photographs.

Biographical/Historical Note: Louis Prang (1824-1909) of Boston, Massachusetts, was a lithographer and wood engraver, famous for his chromolithographic reproductions of major works of art as well as for a series of publications used for art education in public schools. With Julius Meyer, he founded the lithographic business, Prang & Meyer in 1856 which later became L. Prang & Co. Prang reproduced paintings by noted 19th century artists, and introduced the Christmas card in the 1870s. He is considered the founder of the greeting card business in the U.S.

The Louis Prang papers were donated in 1989 by Thomas West Christopher, M.D., son of E. Wrightson Christopher who compiled the papers while he was a publisher of greeting cards. A photocopied letter and a sales book of samples were donated separately and have unknown provenances.

Funding for the digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

How to Use this Collection

  • Read the Finding Aid for this digitized collection
  • This collection was digitized in its entirety in 2014 and is available on the Archives of American Art's website.
  • Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
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Also in the Archives

Related Materials

Also found in the Archives of American Art is the Mary Margaret Sittig research material on Louis Prang.