The Art Journal, published in London from 1839 until 1912, represents an influential text of the 19th century. The magazine was known for it’s honest portrayal of fine arts and opposition of both fake and mis-attributed Old Masters and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Each edition included art historical essays, engraved illustrations, and frank reviews of both exhibitions and art-related publications.
The 1878 edition of The Art Journal includes a catalogue of decorative arts displayed during the Exposition Universelle (World’s Fair) entitled “The Illustrated Catalogue of the Paris International Exhibition.”
The Parisian event (May 1 – November 10, 1878) celebrated the recovery of France following the Franco-Prussian War and was larger in scale than any exposition previously produced, covering over sixty-six acres. Extensive displays of architecture, fine arts, and machinery included the Avenue des Nations (Street of Nations), Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone, Thomas Edison’s megaphone and phonograph, and the completed head of the Statue of Liberty. A startling thirteen million people are recorded as having paid to attend the event.
Loyola University New Orleans Special Collections & Archives copy of the text is particularly fascinating with its exquisite marbled endpapers and a disappearing fore-edge painting depicting Windsor Castle and Eton, both located in Berkshire, England, as viewed from the River Thames.
The Art Journal is available for viewing in the Booth-Bricker Special Collections & Archives Reading Room on the 3rd floor of Monroe Library, Monday – Friday, 9:00-4:30.
Alternatively, “The Illustrated Catalogue of the Paris International Exhibition” portion of the text is available to view online here.
Found in the Archives is a recurring series of crazy cool stuff found in the Monroe Library’s Special Collections & Archives.