Leave a comment

Extensive Archive of Avant-Garde & Modernist Magazines, (1890-1939), Now Available Online

New Post Goes Up Every Wednesday at 8:30pm ET


 “The successful product of a collaborative effort to establish an Arts Magazine will represent a living community of artists, writers, editors, and other masters of technique who subordinate their individual wills, temporarily, to the will of a collective, creating new gestalt identities from conceptual atoms. As Monoskop—“a wiki for collaborative studies of art, media and the humanities”—points out, “the whole” of an arts magazine, “could become greater than the sum of its parts.” Often when this happens, a publication can serve as the platform or nucleus of an entirely new movement.

Monoskop maintains a digital archive of printed avant-garde and modernist magazines dating from the late-19th century to the late 1930s, published in locales from Arad to Bucharest, Copenhagen to Warsaw, in addition to the expected New York and Paris. From the latter city comes the 1924 first issue of Surrealisme at the top of the post. From the much smaller city of Arad in Romania comes the March, 1925 issue 1 of Periszkóp above, published in Hungarian and featuring works by Picasso, Marc Chagal, and many lesser-known Eastern European artists. Just below, see another Paris publication: the first, 1929 issue of Documents, a surrealist journal edited by Georges Bataille and featuring such luminaries as Cuban novelist Alejo Carpentier and artists Georges Braque, Giorgio De Chirico, Salvador Dali, Marchel Duchamp, Paul Klee, Joan Miro, and Pablo Picasso. Further down, see the first, 1926, issue of the Bauhaus journal, vehicle of the famous arts movement founded by Walter Gropius in 1919.”


“The variety of modernist and avant garde publications archived at Monoskop “provide us with a historical record of several generations of artists and writers.” They also “remind us that our lenses matter.” In an age of “the relentless linearity of digital bits and the UX of the glowing screen” we tend to lose sight of such critically important matters as design, typography, layout, writing, and the “techniques of printing and mechanical reproduction.” Anyone can build a website, fill it with “content,” and propagate it globally, giving little or no thought to aesthetic choices and editorial framing. But the magazines represented in Monoskop’s archive are specialized creations, the products of very deliberate choices made by groups of highly skilled individuals with very specific aesthetic agendas.”


“A majority of the publications represented come from the explosive period of modernist experimentation between the wars, but several, like the journal Rhythm: Art Music Literature—first published in 1911—offer glimpses of the early stirrings of modernist innovation in the Anglophone world. Others like the 1890-93 Parisian Entretiens politiques et littéraires showcase the work of pioneering early French modernist forebears like Jules Laforgue (a great influence upon T.S. Eliot) and also André Gide and Stéphane Mallarmé. Some of the publications here are already famous, like The Little Review, many much lesser-known. Most published only a handful of issues.”


“With a few exceptions—such as the 1923 Japanese publication MAVO shown above—almost all of the journals represented at Monoskop’s archive hail from Eastern and Western Europe and the U.S.. While “only a few journals had any significant impact outside the avant-garde circles in their time,” the ripples of that impact have spread outward to encompass the art and design worlds that surround us today. These examples of the literary and design culture of early 20th century modernist magazines, like those of late 20th century postmodern ‘zines, provide us with a distillation of minor movements that came to have major significance in decades hence.”

via Hyperallergic and Open Culture

Leave a comment




Published Early This Week

In our post titled, “Could this be Netflix? “ we wrote, “On our Purpose Page we observed that, “Just as the iPod changed the shape of the music industry, the entire book publishing industry, is on the brink of a paradigm change.” Now, two companies outside book publishing offer unlimited downloads of e-books for a flat monthly fee.” These companies are Oyster and Scribid. The monthly fee is $8.99 and $9.95 respectively.


Many would agree that the price of something does not mean its value. Price is the money we pay to acquire something, value is the worth we place on it. Because something is free does not mean it is valueless. Likewise, just because something has a high price does not mean that it has high value. What had this got to do with the price and value of e-books?

When e-books first came to market, the price was significantly cheaper that that of the hard cover print edition. As e-books gained in acceptance and popularity, e-book prices began to creep higher and higher so that there was not a significant difference in the price between the two. Now that the e- book market, especially in the U.S, has become saturated, and consumers have become resistant to the high prices of some of the more popular e-books.


In July 2014 CNET, in an Article titled “Amazon rolls out $9.99 Kindle Unlimited monthly subscription. The new service offers more than 600,000 Kindle e-books and thousands of Audible audiobooks for $9.99 a month,” wrote,

Launched Friday, Kindle Unlimited lets you borrow as many books as you want at a single time from a collection of 600,000 Kindle titles and thousands of Audible audiobooks, with no due dates. Subscribers can find eligible titles by browsing the Kindle book store and looking for any book flashing the Kindle Unlimited logo. Simply click on the “Read for Free” link, and the book becomes available.


In “Update: Subscription eBook Services Compared,” appearing online in The Digital Reader, Nate Hoffelder wrote,

“The following post matches up 5 different services that are available in the US or globally:

Kindle Owner’s Lending library
Kindle Unlimited

Oyster offers 500,000 titles, but few are frontlist and few are bestsellers.
Amazon boasts that the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library stocks over 550 thousand titles, most of which were added via KDP Select.
Scribd has a catalog of over 400,000
Kindle Unlimited has 650,000 titles at launch, many of which are also found in KOLL. There are also 7,300 audiobooks.
Bookmate offers 400,000 titles, but they tend to be concentrated in certain markets.

Oyster costs $10 a month for unlimited access.
Kindle Owner’s Lending Library comes as part of an Amazon Prime membership, and in the US that costs $79 per year but includes other extras like free 2 day shipping and free streaming video. You are limited to borrowing a single ebook title each month.
Scribd costs $9 a month for unlimited access.
Kindle Unlimited costs $9.99 for unlimited access, but limits you to only having 10 titles at a time.
Bookmate costs $5 a month, which is usually billed through a subscriber’s cellphone company.

Bookmate is technically available globally but the company is concentrating its attention on certain markets: Russia, the Ukraine, Turkey, and Kazakhstan. They plan to expand into Scandinavia and Latin America by the end of 2014.


Oyster launched their pilot with an iPhone app, and later released iPad and Android apps.
Scribd has iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, and iPad apps, and you can read in your web browser.
Kindle Owner’s Lending Library is only available on a Kindle.
Kindle Unlimited is available on any Kindle device or app.
Bookmate offers apps for Android and iOS.”


Lifehacker  wrote, “Is An Ebook Subscription Worth It?”

Are Ebook Subscription Services Worth It?

“As you’d expect, whether or not an ebook subscription is worth it boils down to how many books you tend to read a month, what types of books you read, and the devices for reading you have access to.

All three services offer a free trial membership, so it’s worth checking them out if you’re even slightly interested. Once you do, you can browse the book selection fully and get a better feel for what types of books each service offers. At a glance, Scribd has a lot more self-published books, whereas Oyster seems to have a better selection of popular fiction, and Entitle has a lot of popular fiction and more technical manuals. If there’s a good amount of books available that are on your reading list, and you tend to read at least a book a month, then it’s probably worth trying out until you run out of books.

I like the overall experience of Oyster the most, but it’s iOS only at the moment. The genre categories and overall presentation feel a lot like Netflix, and the experience was pretty fluid compared to Scribd, which was a little clunky at times. Entitle is more of a bare-bones experience comparatively, but the fact you can keep the books is more appealing to people who like to reread a lot.

The book selection is just too limited for me and I’d have to continue buying books on top of having the subscription if I really wanted to read everything. That said, all three of these do a great job of organizing their content in a way that makes it easy to find new books that do interest you, even if they’re not jumping to the top of you must-read charts.

In the end, it really depends on what type of reader you are. If you don’t mind not always getting the exact book you want, a subscription will suit you well. If you’re a little more particular, you might find that the selection just isn’t big enough.”

Leave a comment



The following is a letter dated September 2, 2014 from Thomas P. Campbell, Director of the Metropolitan  Museum of Art, announcing the Met’s new app:

Dear Friend,

It is my great pleasure to announce the launch of the Met app, a free digital resource that offers an easy way to stay connected with the Museum from anywhere in the world.

With so much to see and do at the Met, we wanted to create a simple yet personalized way to find the art, exhibitions, and events that matter most to you. The app balances beauty with utility, revealing the Museum’s vast collection and activities with just a swipe.

Some of the highlights of the app are themed lists that provide a fresh, often playful perspective on the Met’s collection, the Museum’s popular Artwork of the Day, syndication of our Twitter feed, and a special section just for Members.

The Met app is available on iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad, and can be downloaded for free from the App Store. I hope that you will find it as elegant as it is useful, and enjoy it both in and away from the Museum.

Thomas P. Campbell


    • Listings of current exhibitions and daily events at both the Main Building and The Cloisters
    • Ability to purchase Museum admission, Membership, and event tickets
    • Recommended must-sees, from artworks to architecture
    • Lists of offbeat and family-friendly artworks to spark inspiration
    • A special section for Members with upcoming events and opportunities


As the Met says,

Swipe freely between events and exhibitions, explore classic highlights, and discover fresh perspectives on the permanent collection. The Met app is The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s official mobile app, designed to be simple, delightful, and easy to use over and over.

According to Art Daily,

One of the highlights of the app is a set of themed lists of artworks that provide fresh, often playful, perspectives on the Met’s permanent collection. These include: “Grand Spaces and Hidden Nooks,” “Animals: See One, Be One,” “Hidden in Plain Sight,” “Medieval Love” (for The Cloisters), and “Met-Staches,” which shows works of art with mustachioed subjects. For the more avid users there is also a hidden feature to discover: the Museum’s popular “Artwork of the Day.”


This app is another fine example of the way in which museums have used the tools of the New Media to make Art accessable to everyone.

Art Daily,

The Met app was produced by the Metropolitan Museum’s Digital Media Department in collaboration with Instrument, an independent digital creative agency in Portland, Oregon, and with the assistance of staff from across the Museum, in departments including Information Systems & Technology, Education, and Design.


The Museum is now developing a version of The Met app for Android users, and this will launch in 2015.

images.met app

Leave a comment




Tour Sagrada da Familia Here

New Post Goes Up Every Wednesday at 8:30 pm ET

The End of Summer Tour

This is the last in our 2014 summer series on virtual visits to some of the well-know architectural and artistic treasures throughout the world. This week we visit two locations in Barcelona, the Sagrada da Familia, and the Park Güell,  creations of the architect and artist Antoni Gaudi.

Sagrada da Familia


“The expiatory church of La Sagrada Família is a work on a grand scale which was begun on 19 March 1882 from a project by the diocesan architect Francisco de Paula del Villar (1828-1901). At the end of 1883 Gaudí was commissioned to carry on the works, a task which he did not abandon until his death in 1926. Since then different architects have continued the work after his original idea.

The building is in the centre of Barcelona, and over the years it has become one of the most universal signs of identity of the city and the country. It is visited by millions of people every year and many more study its architectural and religious content.

It has always been an expiatory church, which means that since the outset, 132 years ago now, it has been built from donations. Gaudí himself said: “The expiatory church of La Sagrada Família is made by the people and is mirrored in them. It is a work that is in the hands of God and the will of the people.” The building is still going on and could be finished some time in the first third of the 21st century. “

Source: http://www.sagradafamilia.cat/sf-eng/docs_instit/historia.php

Park Guell

Tour Park Güell Here 


Park Güell

Park Güell is an urban park to the north of the Barcelona district of Gràcia designed by Antoni Gaudí, who planned and directed the construction of the park from 1900 to 1914 for Eusebi Güell as a luxury villa, where 60 houses for the richest families of the Barcelona bourgeoisie would be built.

The sale of the houses was not as successful as expected and, a few years later, it became a public park. It is considered one of Gaudí’s most colorful and playful works even though it was never fully completed.

The park extends beyond the structures covering the hill with stepped pedestrian paths and gardens amid the lush foliage. Near the base stands the house Gaudí had built for his own use in the park, the work of his disciple Francesc Berenguer (1905). The house has since been converted into the Casa-Museu Gaudí and houses furnishings designed by Gaudí as well as personal memorabilia. UNESCO declared Güell Park a World Heritage site in 198

Antoni Gaudi

 Antoni Gaudi 1878.jpg
Gaudí in 1878, by Pau Audouard. Born(1852-06-25)25 June 1852 Reus, Catalonia, Spain[]Died10 June 1926(1926-06-10) (aged 73) Barcelona, Catalonia, SpainNationalitySpanish

“Antoni Gaudí i Cornet (Catalan pronunciation: [ənˈtɔni ɣəwˈði]; 25 June 1852 – 10 June 1926) was a Spanish Catalan architect from Reus and the best known practitioner of Catalan Modernism. Gaudí’s works reflect an individualized and distinctive style. Most are located in Barcelona, including his magnum opus, the Sagrada Família.

Gaudí’s work was influenced by his passions in life: architecture, nature, and religion. Gaudí considered every detail of his creations and integrated into his architecture such crafts as ceramics, stained glass, wrought ironwork forging and carpentry. He also introduced new techniques in the treatment of materials, such as trencadís which used waste ceramic pieces.

Under the influence of neo-Gothic art and Oriental techniques, Gaudí became part of the Modernista movement which was reaching its peak in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His work transcended mainstream Modernisme, culminating in an organic style inspired by natural forms. Gaudí rarely drew detailed plans of his works, instead preferring to create them as three-dimensional scale models and molding the details as he conceived them.

Gaudí’s work enjoys global popularity and continuing admiration and study by architects. His masterpiece, the still-uncompleted Sagrada Família, is the most-visited monument in Spain. Between 1984 and 2005, seven of his works were declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.

Source: Wikipedia

Leave a comment


Royal 3

New Post Goes Up Every Wednesday at 8:30pm ET                                                             Click here for The 360 Tour of the Royal Theater in Copenhagen


This is another in our summer holiday 360 virtual tours – this time of the Royal Theater in Copenhagen, Denmark  courtesy of Arounder, headquartered in Switzerland.


Sometimes lost amongst the other Copenhagen visitor attractions like the nearby Kastellet or Amalienborg Palace, the Royal Theatre House is an opulent building in its own right, featuring a lavish circular auditorium that has long been the city’s defacto center for culture. Sometimes called the Copenhagen Opera House, it was first constructed in the 18th century, its sole intention to become Denmark’s national stage – and though dramas are routinely put on here, it is the ballet and opera that have found the Royal Theatre world renown.

The stage itself is a historic landmark, having first seen the bright lights in 1874, and for years it has been host to thousands of performances by The Royal Danish Theatre, Royal Danish Opera and Royal Danish Ballet. Though many of these productions have subsequently moved to the new Royal Opera House on Holmen, the Royal Theatre stands as a testament to the art of the past. There are still plenty of shows here per year, from the famed ballets to plays, many of them performed in Danish. They go on for 11 months of the year, skipping the month of July, which finds Copenhagen using the main stage as its feature venue during its annual jazz festival.

As a Copenhagen visitor attraction, however, its architecture is what makes the Royal Theatre stand out – based primarily on the Opera house in Paris, it seems slightly out of place in regards to the more understated Danish buildings, but its intrinsic flair for the dramatic is almost too perfect for the Copenhagen Opera House. The proceedings are dutifully overseen by two bronze statues depicting famous Danish dramatists, Adam Oehlenschlager and Ludvig Holberg.

An annex was added to Copenhagen Opera House, colloquially known as “The Nesting Box,” in 1931, and it was the last addition to the Royal Theatre that was actually finished. The construction of the Royal Opera House on Holmen has stood in the way of recent renovations, giving the interior of the Theatre an oddly unfinished feel.

Though it is unlikely that it will fall from the list of Copenhagen visitor attractions due to its historical importance, the prominence that the Royal Theatre once enjoyed has all but vanished. Its renaissance design is still celebrated, however, and its location is still right in the midst of most walking tours of Copenhagen, so if you have a spare moment or two, a cursory look over the Royal Theatre Square is heartily suggested. Guided tours are offered throughout the year, showcasing the history behind the theater and surrounding square, including both the construction of the theater and its place in Denmark”s cultural heritage.



Click here for a virtual tour of the Royal Theatre Square.

Leave a comment



New Post Goes Up Every Wednesday at 8:30pm ET


We have written a number of posts on how museums are in the forefront of using New Media technology, and comparing this to the dismal failure of the book publishing industry to use New Media technology to add value to an “electronic” copy of a book. One of those posts is , “E MUSEUMS LEAVE E BOOKS IN THE DUST: A VIEW FROM TWO DIFFERENT CENTURIES,” and another is,” E BOOKS vs. E MUSEUMS: THE LAG OF THE BOOK,”

On the Purpose page of this blog, we noted the comment by  Alice Rawsthorn in the New York Times of November 28, 2010 that:

“These devices offer thrilling possibilities for us to do much more than read words on a screen, and it is deeply disappointing that so few designers and publishers are embracing them.”

In the Post, “E-MUSEUMS and ENHANCED E-BOOKS – MUSEE d’ORSAY WHOLLY DIGITAL BOOK FOR IMPRESSIONIST EXHIBITION, about the Musée d’Orsay and Artepublishing’s  e-book, Great Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Paintings,

we wrote,

This book is an outstanding example of what can be done in the enhanced e-book format, and an excellent example to print publishers by the Museum and Artepublishing of the tremendous power of enhanced e-books in the New Media. The book is beautifully designed, and couples art and scholarship in a way not possible in the static print and e-book methods of publication.

Artepublishing’s final product fulfills our objectives for fine art in the new media as outlined in our purpose page through its interactivity, in-depth content, and overall scholarly execution. The enhanced e-book contains reproductions of nearly 200 paintings by 26 artists, over three hours of original audio information about the artists and their paintings, and more than 500 hyperlinks to related content.


Now, MoMA has produced an  online-only on Pablo Picasso and Cubism,” Picasso: The Making of Cubism 1912-1914, (Edited by Anne Umland and Blair Hartzell, with Scott Gerson. With essays by Elizabeth Cowling, Jeremy Melius, and Jeffrey Weiss). As described on the museum’s website, “MoMA I Digital Books,”

“Picasso: The Making of Cubism 1912-1914 delves into a watershed moment in the history of twentieth-century art and in Pablo Picasso’s career through in-depth studies of fifteen objects made by the artist between 1912 and 1914. Catalyzed by MoMA’s 2011 exhibition Picasso: Guitars 1912-1914, this interactive digital publication reveals for the first time the many insights gained by curators, scholars, and conservators through first-hand examination of the works in the Museum’s galleries and in the conservation lab.”

“Each chapter is devoted to a single object from this period, featuring an overview essay by a distinguished scholar and a comprehensive portfolio of high-resolution images, ranging from X-rays and 360-degree views to enlarged details and photographs taken during the conservation process. A wealth of secondary resources, including video clips of curators and conservators talking about the objects, detailed conservation notes, illustrated provenances and exhibition histories, and lists of published references for each work further enrich the publication, presenting fresh interpretations of canonical works of art in unprecedented and dynamic ways.”


According to Art Daily,

“The publication delves into the artist’s complex, cross-medium studio practice in the years between 1912 and 1914 by examining Picasso’s cardboard and sheet metal Guitar constructions alongside the drawings, papiers collés, mixed-medium paintings, photographs, and assemblages made during this period.

Each chapter features an illuminating essay by one of the scholars and is complemented by a wealth of documentation. High-resolution images range from interactive 360° views of constructed sculptures to X-rays and ultraviolet, infrared, and raking-light images taken in the conservation lab. Detailed conservation notes offer key insights into the artist’s materials and processes.



Photo: Picasso holding Guitar, posing with William Rubin,
director of the Department of Painting and Sculpture at
The Museum of Modern Art, at Notre-Dame-de-Vie,
Mougins, France, February 8, 1971.
Photograph by Jacqueline Picasso (French, 1927–1986).
MoMA Archives. Department of Public Information Records.
Art Daily continues,

“Archival documentation includes newly discovered and previously unpublished photographs of Picasso in his studio, as well as an illustrated provenance, exhibition history, and published references for each object. Rare primary-source images show the works in the homes of early collectors, in historical gallery installations, and in early publications, augmenting the physical history of the object with details of its ownership, display, and reception.

Video clips of curators and conservators speaking about the objects, including a 1971 interview with William Rubin, then director of MoMA’s Department of Painting and Sculpture, speaking on the occasion of the Museum’s acquisition of the sheet metal Guitar, further enhance the rich interactive study of these objects.”




The publication is $24.99. It is available as an iPad app from the App Store and as an interactive and enhanced PDF to be read on laptop or desktop computers using Adobe Reader through MoMAstore.org. MoMA says,

“This e-book is instantly downloadable as an interactive PDF file and can be read on your computer using Adobe Reader or Adobe Pro. Once you complete your purchase, you will receive an e-mail with a link to download your order.”

Leave a comment




The Tour Starts Here: Palazzo Ducale

New Post Goes Up Every Wednesday at 8:30 pm ET


For those on vacation, and those who are not, the company Arounder,  has made a stunning 360 tour available on the web. No lines, and no crowds.

From ItalyGuides.it:

Doge’s Palace

“If you imagine landing in Venice from the sea, as did those who came inland by ship, the first thing you see rising out of the water is the unmistakable shape of the Doge’s Palace – the city’s most famous building.

The Palace is the most representative symbol of Venice’s culture, which, together with the Basilica of San Marco at the back and the Piazzetta in the forefront, forms of the most famous sceneries in the world.

For centuries the Doge’s Palace had three fundamental roles: as the Doge residence, the seat of government and as the palace of justice. This was where some of the most important decisions for Venice’s, and even Europe’s destiny were taken.

Initially, when it was built in the IX century A.D. it was more like a castle than a palace with four sighting towers and high defensive walls. In fact, it was in a strategic position controlling the city, near to its sea access. Later, due to a series of fires and subsequent rebuilding, it became what we can see today – a splendid example of Venetian gothic architecture.

This imposing building has the one feature typical of Venetian architecture: lightness. Despite its considerable size, the multi-coloured façade decorations and the splendid perforation of the Gothic loggias, like stone lace, give us an elegant structure that isn’t heavy in appearance.

There is also a real architectural “find“: compared to most medieval palaces all over Italy, the Doge’s Palace was built in the opposite way with the loggias down below and full walls above, whereas buildings like this normally had a huge base to make them easier to defend.

In Venice the state Palace had to be an expression of the Republic’s special relationship with its citizens: one of trust and absolute fidelity. Venetians considered their government as legitimate not by imposition or divine right, like in other Italian medieval cities, but as an expression of the Venetians’ will.

The portico is already a special place, a masterpiece within an even bigger masterpiece: the thirty-six stone capitals on their arches are a marvellous example of medieval sculpture and give us a rich repertoire of symbolic figures: vice and virtue, saints, martyrs, knights, trades, birds and signs of the zodiac.

From these arches the Doge watched public executions in the square and under the ninth arch, the one that stands out for the red of its marble, death sentences were announced.”


You can see more of the Doge’s Palace on its Museum site, and even take what the Museum calls the “Secret Itineraries Tour,” including the Prisons, and the Armory.

ItalyGuides.it has another 360 tour on its site.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 108 other followers

%d bloggers like this: