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Biographical Note | A Finding Aid to the Mary Margaret Sittig research material on Louis Prang, 1860-1978

Mary Margaret Sittig research material on Louis Prang, 1860-1978

Biographical Note

Mary Margaret Sittig was a doctoral student at George Washington University in Washington D.C. working on a dissertation about the life and work of Boston lithographer Louis Prang (1824-1909), often referred to as the "father of the American Christmas card." Sittig completed her Master's theses L. Prang and Company, Fine Art Publishers in 1970, but died before completing her doctoral dissertation.
In 1864, Prang visited Europe to study the latest techniques in German lithography. He returned to Boston to create high quality reproductions of major works of art using a lithographic process he called "chromos." In 1874, he began producing greeting cards for the popular market in England and began selling the Christmas card in the United States the next year. Also in 1874, Prang began publishing books for drawing and elementary art study for public schools. This latter activity proved so successful that he formed the Prang Educational Company in 1882.