John Rogers (1829-1904) was unquestionably the most popular sculptor of the 19th century, selling over 80,000 narrative figural groups in plaster in his lifetime. More than any other artist of his era, Rogers reached Americans en masse, addressing the issues that shaped their lives and defined the American experience.
This exhibition will draw from the New-York Historical Society's collections to focus on Rogers’ most arresting and memorable themes: the Civil War, domestic life, and theatrical scenes from popular literary works of the day. Ephemeral materials from the Historical Society's 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 the Historical Society’s acclaimed collection to show how Rogers carried on the American genre tradition.