The Public Domain Review

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

Propagating Propaganda: Franklin Barrett’s Red, White, and Blue Liberty Bond Carp

Wednesday 17 March 2021 at 12:38

Toward the end of World War I, as the US peddled hard its Liberty Bonds for the war effort, goldfish dealer Franklin Barrett bred a stars-and-stripes-colored carp: a living, swimming embodiment of patriotism. Laurel Waycott uncovers the story of this “Liberty Bond Fish” and the wider use of animals in propaganda of the time.


The Universe as Pictured in Milton’s Paradise Lost (1915)

Thursday 11 March 2021 at 09:29

In his final work, William Fairfield Warren set out to become a cartographer of the poetic imagination, mapping Milton’s cosmos in Paradise Lost.


A Book of Stone: Adam Wirsing’s Marmora (1776)

Wednesday 10 March 2021 at 06:49

Composed in numbered squares, six to a page, these images are colourful and complex odes to marble.


The Story of Napoleon's Death Mask (1915)

Tuesday 2 March 2021 at 11:56

Engorged with bons mots and brimming with pith, this investigation, in its author’s own words, moves between “the hot sword-play of polemic” and “the chill spade-work of research”.


<i>Black America</i>, 1895

Wednesday 24 February 2021 at 12:55

During the summer of 1895, in a Brooklyn park, there was a cotton plantation complete with five hundred Black workers reenacting slavery. Dorothy Berry uncovers the bizarre and complex history of Black America, a theatrical production which revealed the conflicting possibilities of self-expression in a racist society.


Filippo Morghen's Fantastical Visions of Lunar Life (1776)

Tuesday 23 February 2021 at 07:16

The Florentine engraver imagines an expedition to a lunar landscape peopled by New World figures in fantastical, size-shifting scenarios.


French Silk Sample Book (ca. 1900)

Tuesday 16 February 2021 at 11:16

A sample book of gorgeous French silk in various patterns, from around 1900, from the Mary Ann Beinecke Decorative Art Collection.


Baron Munchausen’s Dream (1911)

Thursday 11 February 2021 at 07:49

Méliès shows customary boundless imagination in this short film depicting the pleasures and terrors that plague the drunken baron.


Postures of Transport: Sex, God, and Rocking Chairs

Wednesday 3 February 2021 at 12:52

What if chairs had the ability to shift our state of consciousness, transporting the imagination into distant landscapes and ecstatic experiences, both religious and erotic? In an essay about the British and American fascination with rocking chairs and upholstery springs in the 19th century, Hunter Dukes discovers how simple furniture technologies allowed armchair travelers to explore worlds beyond their own.


Serviette Sculptures: Mattia Giegher’s Treatise on Napkin Folding (1629)

Tuesday 2 February 2021 at 09:10

17th-century treatise, the first book of its kind, containing a bestiary of linen creations, mythical creatures and architectural abstractions, folded out of the common napkin.