Athenaeum, Boston

Print Title:



One of a series of engravings drawn and cut by Abel Bowen for his book Picture of Boston.  Published in 1829 by his brother, Picture of Boston went through several editions. Bowen came to the United States from England and got his start cutting wood engraved hand bills for William Massey Stroud Doyle, co-owner of the Columbian Museum in Boston. Bowen worked in copper as well as wood. The plates for both his earlier 1825 History of Boston with Caleb Snow as editor and his multiple editions of Picture of Boston were done on both media.

Print Source:

This print, identified by some scholars and collectors as a probable source for the pattern featured here, has not been fully authenticated. It is included in this exhibit as a possible inspiration for the printed pattern.

Both Ridgway and Stevenson use a modified version of the engraving produced by Abel Bowen to illustrate his 1829 Picture of Boston. Ridgway added a pair of figures in front of the building as well as part of a cobblestone street and broad sidewalk that were not visible in the original source print.

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Pattern & Print Source Comparison

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Athenaeum, Boston
John & William Ridgway