The Old Print Shop

Edwin Whitefield


Edwin Whitefield (1816-1892) emigrated to the United States from Britain around 1837, and over four decades produced an estimated 59 views of cities and towns as far apart as Maryland, Quebec and Minnesota. “From 1846 to 1857, Whitefield traveled across Canada and the northern United States sketching city views for his series of folio lithographs Whitefield’s Original Views of (North) American Cities (and Scenery)?. The series was printed by a variety of printers-F. Michelin, Endicott and Company, Jones and Newman, and Buchanan and Company. Whitefield was involved in all aspects of the printmaking process, from designing to printing and selling. Later, he would do much of his own printing. Whitefield sold most of his work by subscription. As an itinerant artist with a family to support, advance subscriptions guaranteed a degree of financial security. He was an unabashed promoter of his own work, often employing business agents such as Smith Brothers and James T. Palmatary to this end.” (Pierce and Slautterback, Boston Lithography, p. 182) After several years in the Midwest before and during the Civil War-where he produced views in Minnesota and Illinois-Whitefield returned to Massachusetts and settled in Dedham. His final views were of Dedham and Quincy, in which he adopted the much-higher angle perspective developed by artists such as O.H. Bailey and others.