Published in 1883, this volume collects original prints by some of the most prominent American artists of the nineteenth century.

etching of a drawing of a woman and a lion
About the Book

Original Etchings by American Artists was published at a time in American history when the country was trying to establish an artistic identity and visual presence that could rival Europe’s. Sylvester Rosa Koehler, the first curator of prints at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and editor of this work, went on to be a curator of graphic arts at the Smithsonian and was also an editor and contributor to the American Art Review. He commissioned all of the etchings included in the volume and he chose artists who were at the top of the nineteenth-century American art scene. Through his publishing and scholarship, Koehler had a huge impact on the course of American art history and contributed to the renaissance of etching and engraving in American art. In some ways, this publication was meant to elevate the American taste for landscape and genre art put forth by the American Art Union, which had a more sentimental view of art and promoted artists that took fewer artistic risks. Many of the prints from this volume can be viewed individually in museums around the country, and it is rare to find a complete volume today. Dartmouth’s volume is in fact missing two prints, which have been generously provided to this digital collection by the Smith College Museum of Art. To learn more about the American Art Union and its impact on American Art in the nineteenth century, read Visual Arts Librarian Laura Graveline's blog post on the organization.

Dartmouth's print copy of Original Etchings by American Artists can be viewed in the Sherman Art Library by asking for NE2186 .K7 in Art Special.


This collection is a digital edition of Original Etchings by American Artists and is not a faithful representation of the work. It has been created to facilitate ease of use by providing links to individual plates and co-locating essays with their respective etchings, and departs from the original page structure. A full PDF has been linked above under "View Full Book" for those wishing to view the exact structure of the work.


The print book, and therefore the PDF of it, is in the Public Domain, so the Dartmouth Library assigns No Copyright - United States to the PDF. The TEI markup for the Digital Edition is provided by the Dartmouth Library under a CC0 license to enable reuse. The description of the project is provided under a CC-BY-NC license.

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