The Public Domain Review

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Images from German “Caterpillar Calendar” (1837)

Tuesday 16 January 2018 at 18:42

Wonderful illustrations from an entomological volume outlining which caterpillars appear each month, as well as details on how to keep them and catch the butterflies into which they will transform.


Yvette Borup Andrews: Photographing Central Asia

Wednesday 10 January 2018 at 16:12

Although often overshadowed by the escapades of her more famous husband (said by some to be the real-life inspiration for Indiana Jones), the photographs taken by Yvette Borup Andrews on their first expeditions through Central Asia stand today as a compelling contribution to early visual anthropology. Lydia Pyne looks at the story and impact of this unique body of images.


The Book of the Homeless (1916)

Tuesday 9 January 2018 at 17:59

Collection of essays, art, poetry, and musical scores, edited by Edith Wharton, whose profits were used to fund civilians displaced by World War I.


On the Banks of the Old Raritan (1915)

Thursday 4 January 2018 at 16:10

Early recording of the alma mater of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, penned in 1873 in just two hours by Howard Newton Fuller, an 1874 graduate of Rutgers College.


Class of 2018

Tuesday 19 December 2017 at 16:06

Top Row (left to right): Aleister Crowley; René Magritte; Siegfried Sassoon Middle Row (left to right): Alice B. Toklas; Pierre Bonnard; Winston Churchill; M. P. Shiel Bottom Row (left to right): Jean Toomer; P. D. Ouspensky; Anna Wickham; Hans Fallada Pictured above is our top pick of artists and writers whose works will, on 1st […]


George Mayerle’s Eye Test Chart (ca. 1907)

Tuesday 12 December 2017 at 17:18

This fantastic eye chart — measuring 22 by 28 inches with a positive version on one side and negative on the other — is the work of German optometrist and American Optometric Association member George Mayerle, who was working in San Francisco at end of the nineteenth century, just when optometry was beginning to professionalise. […]


Pods, Pots, and Potions: Putting Cacao to Paper in Early Modern Europe

Thursday 7 December 2017 at 18:55

Christine Jones explores the different ways the cacao tree has been depicted through history — from 16th-century codices to 18th-century botanicals — and what this changing iconography reveals about cacao's journey into European culture.


Kittens and Cats: A First Reader (1911) — Cats and Captions before the Internet Age

Wednesday 6 December 2017 at 18:39

If this delightful book is anything to go by then taking photos of cats and brandishing them with an amusing caption, was far from being a phenomenon born with the internet.


The Whims (1799) and The Follies (1815–23) of Francisco Goya

Tuesday 28 November 2017 at 19:08

Prints from Goya's Los caprichos (The Whims) and Los disparates (The Follies), two series which see him condemning the follies and foibles of civilized society.


Brief Encounters with Jean-Frédéric Maximilien de Waldeck

Wednesday 22 November 2017 at 17:24

Not a lot concerning the artist, erotic publisher, explorer, and general enigma Count de Waldeck can be taken at face value, and this certainly includes his fanciful representations of ancient Mesoamerican culture which — despite the exquisite brilliance of their execution — run wild with anatopistic lions, elephants, and suspicious architecture. Rhys Griffiths looks at the life and work of one of the 19th century's most mysterious and eccentric figures.