The Public Domain Review

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Arthur Wesley Dow’s Floating World: *Composition* (1905 edition)

Thursday 17 February 2022 at 07:19

Arthur Wesley Dow's influential arts education handbook fused Japanese ukiyo-e with the author's unique minimalism, which he derived from the landscapes of New England.

Source: https://publicdomainreview.org/collection/dow-composition


Unnatural Selection: Emil Schachtzabel’s Pigeon *Prachtwerk* (1906)

Tuesday 15 February 2022 at 10:50

This turn-of-the-century guide to pigeon breeds marries the concerns of fanciers with the evolutionary theories of naturalists.

Source: https://publicdomainreview.org/collection/schachtzabel-pigeons


A Paper Archaeology: Piranesi’s Ruinous Fantasias

Wednesday 9 February 2022 at 11:19

From the vast confines of his imaginary prisons to the billowy scenes that comprise his grotteschi, the early works of Giovanni Battista Piranesi wed the exacting details of first-hand observation with the farthest reaches of artistic imagination. Susan Stewart journeys through this 18th-century engraver-architect’s paper worlds.

Source: https://publicdomainreview.org/essay/a-paper-archaeology


Judith Sargent Murray’s *On the Equality of the Sexes* (1790)

Tuesday 8 February 2022 at 07:32

Against the backdrop of the American Revolution, Judith Sargent Murray’s essay made what was, at the time, a radical claim: women are the intellectual equals of men.

Source: https://publicdomainreview.org/collection/equality-of-the-sexes


A Renaissance Riddle: The Sola Busca Tarot Deck (1491)

Thursday 3 February 2022 at 07:36

The oldest complete seventy-eight card tarot sequence, this mysterious deck contains a multitude of puzzles for both scholars and cartomancers.

Source: https://publicdomainreview.org/collection/sola-busca


Portrait of a Scaphander

Wednesday 2 February 2022 at 12:22

Brad Fox tells a history-story that pulls on a life-thread in the tangle of things. But that only makes it all a little knottier, no?

Source: https://publicdomainreview.org/essay/portrait-of-a-scaphander


William James on the Stream of Consciousness (1890)

Tuesday 1 February 2022 at 12:50

For William James, “the stream of thought” becomes a carefully chosen image for the flux of subjectivity.

Source: https://publicdomainreview.org/collection/william-james-stream-of-consciousness


The Kept and the Killed

Wednesday 26 January 2022 at 10:56

Of the 270,000 photographs commissioned by the US Farm Security Administration to document the Great Depression, more than a third were “killed”. Erica X Eisen examines the history behind this hole-punched archive and the unknowable void at its center.

Source: https://publicdomainreview.org/essay/the-kept-and-the-killed


Hieroglyphics of a Rope-Dancer: *The Book of Fate* (1822)

Tuesday 25 January 2022 at 10:20

An oracular hoax by William Henry Ireland, aka Herman Kirchenhoffer, that profited from the 19th-century mania for Egyptology and Napoleonic relics.

Source: https://publicdomainreview.org/collection/book-of-fate


The Holkham Bible Picture Book (ca. 1330)

Thursday 20 January 2022 at 09:34

This "Bible" selectively illustrates the Old and New Testaments, taking us from Genesis to Revelation in a series of 231 beautifully executed miniatures.

Source: https://publicdomainreview.org/collection/holkham-bible