The Public Domain Review

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D. A. Rovinskii’s Collection of Russian Lubki (18th–19th Century)

Tuesday 12 November 2019 at 23:01

A selection of D. A. Rovinskiĭ’s collection of lubki — colorful Russian prints from the 16th through 20th century.


Loie Fuller and the Serpentine

Wednesday 6 November 2019 at 01:00

With her "serpentine dance" — a show of swirling silk and rainbow lights — Loie Fuller became one of the most celebrated dancers of the fin de siècle. Rhonda K. Garelick explores Fuller’s unlikely stardom and how her beguiling art embodied the era's newly blurred boundaries between human and machine.


The Geometric Landscapes of Lorenz Stoer (1567)

Tuesday 5 November 2019 at 05:57

Lorenz Stoer’s wildly imaginative depictions of polyhedral shapes and fantastical ruins intended to instruct and inspire woodworkers.


John Reynolds’ Book of Murder Tales (1621–1635)

Monday 4 November 2019 at 10:54

An illustrated collection of murder tales from the early 17th century, including the basis for the Jacobean play The Changeling.


Dorothy Wordsworth’s Journal of a Few Months’ Residence in Portugal (1847)

Tuesday 29 October 2019 at 06:00

A lively travelogue by William Wordsworth’s daughter Dorothy, recording her observations of the Iberian peninsula, circa 1845.


Photographing the Dark: Nadar’s Descent into the Paris Catacombs

Friday 25 October 2019 at 02:00

Today the Paris Catacombs are illuminated by electric lights and friendly guides. But when Félix Nadar descended into this “empire of death” in the 1860s artificial lighting was still in its infancy: the pioneering photographer had to face the quandary of how to take photographs in the subterranean dark. Allison C. Meier explores Nadar’s determined efforts (which involved Bunsen batteries, mannequins, and a good deal of patience) to document the beauty and terror of this realm of the dead.


Persian Demons from a Book of Magic and Astrology (1921)

Thursday 24 October 2019 at 07:01

Watercolours from an early twentieth-century book of spells depicting Persian demons associated with the zodiac.


Various Apocalyptic Scenes from the Prophetic Messenger (ca. 1827–61)

Wednesday 23 October 2019 at 07:02

Apocalyptic lithographs from the 19th century golden age of astrology, helmed by several astrologists writing under the name Raphael.


Tlingit Myths and Texts (1909)

Wednesday 16 October 2019 at 07:03

A collection of tales told by the Tlingit people of southeastern coastal Alaska and collected by the renowned ethnographer John Reed Swanton.


Our Masterpiece Is the Private Life: In Pursuit of the “Real” Chateaubriand

Wednesday 9 October 2019 at 02:00

While nowadays he might be best known for the cut of meat that bears his name, François-René de Chateaubriand was once one of the most famous men in France — a giant of the literary scene and idolised by such future greats as Alphonse de Lamartine and Victor Hugo. Alex Andriesse explores Chateaubriand's celebrity and the glimpse behind the public mask we are given in his epic autobiography Memoirs From Beyond the Grave.