The Public Domain Review

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Every Society Invents the Failed Utopia it Deserves

Wednesday 19 October 2016 at 16:54

CONJECTURES #2 — John Tresch stumbles across an unusual piece, purported to be from the pen of noted anarchist Louise Michel, telling of a cross-dressing revolutionary unhinged at the helm of some kind of sociopolitical astrolabe.

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/collections/every-society-invents-the-failed-utopia-it-deserves/


Harry Clarke’s Looking Glass

Wednesday 12 October 2016 at 19:04

With their intricate line and often ghoulish tone, the works of Irish artist Harry Clarke are amongst the most striking in the history of illustration and stained glass design. Kelly Sullivan explores how, unknown to many at the time, Clarke took to including his own face in many of his pictures.

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2016/10/12/harry-clarkes-looking-glass/


Painted Photograph of an Unknown Man (ca. 1855–70)

Tuesday 11 October 2016 at 18:48

An unusual example of a painted photograph, in which the artist has left sections untouched by paint.

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/collections/painted-photograph-of-an-unknown-man-ca-1855-70/


The Splash of a Drop (1895)

Thursday 6 October 2016 at 20:28

A delightfully focused study on the physics and aesthetics of a splashing drop, wit some wonderful diagrams.

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/collections/the-splash-of-a-drop-1895/


Finnish Opera Singer Eino Rautavaara (1905–9)

Tuesday 4 October 2016 at 18:02

Recordings made between 1905 and 1909 by Finnish opera singer Eino Rautavaara (1879–1939)

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/collections/eino-rautavaara-finnish-opera-singer-1905-9/


Pages From an Illustrated Catalogue of Period Ornaments (ca. 1919)

Thursday 29 September 2016 at 18:04

The Illustrated Catalogue of Period Ornaments Cast in Composition and Wood Fibre for Woodwork-Furniture features samples of wood carvings offered by the Decorators Supply Company of Chicago at the beginning of the 20th century. These decorative elements — so pleasingly presented in the catalogue — could be glued or nailed to furniture, ceilings, and other architectural surfaces. The catalogue would have been used not only to display the Company’s selectionâ�¦

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/collections/pages-from-an-illustrated-catalogue-of-period-ornaments-ca-1919/


Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things (1904)

Tuesday 27 September 2016 at 18:43

Deriving its title from the word for "ghost story" in Japanese this is a book by scholar and translator Lafcadio Hearn in which are compiled an array of ghost stories hailing from Japan.

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/collections/kwaidan-stories-and-studies-of-strange-things-1904/


Opium Destruction, San Francisco (1914)

Thursday 22 September 2016 at 16:53

In the shadow of an unfinished City Hall, still clad in scaffolding, government authorities destroy confiscated opium in downtown San Fransisco, 1914.

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/collections/opium-destruction-san-francisco-1914/


Out of Their Love They Made It: A Visual History of Buraq

Wednesday 21 September 2016 at 17:20

Although mentioned only briefly in the Qur'an, the story of the Prophet Muhammad's night journey to heaven astride a winged horse called Buraq has long caught the imagination of artists. Yasmine Seale charts the many representations of this enigmatic steed, from early Islamic scripture to contemporary Delhi, and explores what such a figure can tell us about the nature of belief.

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2016/09/21/out-of-their-love-they-made-it-a-visual-history-of-buraq/


Illustrations from a Descriptive Iconography of Cacti (1841)

Tuesday 20 September 2016 at 15:53

Illustrations of cacti featured in a 19th-century work by French botanist Charles Lemaire.

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/collections/illustrations-from-a-descriptive-iconography-of-cacti-1841/