The Public Domain Review

This is just an automatic copy of Public Domain Review blog.

Figure/Ground: Alphonse Allais’ *April Fools Album* (1897)

Thursday 9 September 2021 at 16:19

Long before Rauchenberg, Cage, or Malevich, Allais anticipated many of the innovations and experiments that would occupy 20th-century artists.


*A Treatise on Artificial Limbs* (1899)

Tuesday 7 September 2021 at 08:24

An attempt to parallel every possible case of amputation, allowing individuals to find a case identical to their own.


Festooned: Martin Gerlach’s Decorative Groupings (1897)

Thursday 5 August 2021 at 15:38

At once a reference manual to inspire artists and artisans, and a series of proto-modernist photographic montages anticipating the work of Joseph Cornell.


The Spiralist

Thursday 5 August 2021 at 13:31

Why do helical seashells resemble spiralling galaxies and the human heart? Kevin Dann leads us into the gyre of James Bell Pettigrew’s Design in Nature (1908), a provocative and forgotten exploration of the world’s archetypal whorl.


Porch Memories

Wednesday 4 August 2021 at 16:36

In this affecting photo-essay, Federica Soletta invites us to sit with her awhile on the American porch.


Astronomia Playing Cards (1829)

Thursday 29 July 2021 at 17:49

Transcending the earthly concerns of betting and regal motifs, this pack of cards focuses exclusively on the heavens.


Albert Millican’s *Travels and Adventures of an Orchid Hunter* (1891)

Tuesday 27 July 2021 at 21:42

Millican's memoir of travels and exploits in the budding flower industry.


Picturing Scent: The Tale of a Beached Whale

Wednesday 21 July 2021 at 16:53

What can visual art teach us about scent, stench, and the mysterious substance known as ambergris? Lizzie Marx follows a “whale-trail” across history to discover the olfactory paradoxes of the Dutch Golden Age.


John Singleton Copley’s *Watson and the Shark* (1778)

Tuesday 20 July 2021 at 15:48

American-born Copley made a splash at London’s Royal Academy with this depiction of Brook Watson’s dramatic rescue from Havana harbour in 1749.


Solid Objects: 16th-Century Geometric and Perspective Drawings

Thursday 8 July 2021 at 20:13

These complex geometrical figures and perspective drawings are preserved in a little-known manuscript at the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel