PUBLIC DOMAIN REVIEW

25 Jan. 2023

We are revisiting older posts in our collection to give them some much needed love.

25 Jan. 2023

After supposedly stealing 500,000 francs from his bank, the mysterious Victor Dubreuil (b. 1842) turned up penniless in the United States and began to paint dazzling trompe l’oeil images of dollar bills. Once associated with counterfeiting and subject to seizures by the Treasury Department, these artworks are evaluated anew by Dorinda Evans, who considers Dubreuil’s unique anti-capitalist visions among the most daring and socially critical of his time.

24 Jan. 2023

James Ensor's etchings of the seven deadly sins stage personal grievances and caricatures through grotesque, Christian symbolism.

19 Jan. 2023

This forgotten monograph puts forward a novel theory: that frost is able to make “ice photographs”, expressing the form of objects near it.

18 Jan. 2023

These manuscript illustrations from the 1400s raise a historically vexing question: did men and women really duel to settle judicial disputes?

10 Jan. 2023

A mechanical device, designed to keep foxes away from pheasants, which opens onto a story about American gamekeeping in the early twentieth century.

9 Jan. 2023

Like fast food and snacks, the short story has been derided as minor cuisine, ephemeral and insubstantial, light fare compared to the novel’s sustenance. For Katherine Mansfield, a great master of the form, eating offered a model for the sensuous consumption of her fiction — stories, in turn, that are filled with scenes of alimentary pleasure. On the centenary of the New Zealand writer’s death, Aimée Gasston samples her appetites.

5 Jan. 2023

This reference manual for commercial bakeries includes striking pasted-in silver bromide prints and dazzling chromolithographs of bread.

3 Jan. 2023

Created sometime around 1889 by Beatrice and Walter Crane, this illustrated series of poems personifies the months of the year as women.

1 Jan. 2023

Each January 1st is Public Domain Day, where a new crop of works have their copyrights expire and become free to enjoy, share, and reuse for any purpose.

28 Dec. 2022

From a 1904 study of queer Berlin to the mysteries of a hole-punched archive, a rundown of the ten most read pieces we published this year.

13 Dec. 2022

We've made an index for the site, to track chance resonances, collect accidental symmetries, and chart themes that only become visible on an indexical scale.

7 Dec. 2022

Working as an astronomy teacher in Lone Tree, Iowa, Ellen Harding Baker quilted this magnificent representation of the cosmos for her students.

7 Dec. 2022

Archived amid Prokudin-Gorsky’s vast photographic survey of the Russian Empire, we find images shot through with starshatter cracks, blebbed with mildew, and blurred by motion. Within such moments of unmaking, Erica X Eisen uncovers the overlapping forces at play behind these pioneering efforts in colour photography.

6 Dec. 2022

Mighty Mikko contains twelve stories loosely based on Finnish tales, illustrated with vibrant block prints by Jay Van Everen.

1 Dec. 2022

The architect and historian Anthony Acciavatti uses a real (but mostly forgotten) patent to conjure a world that could have been.

30 Nov. 2022

Our End-of-Year Fundraiser is launched, and the new postcards theme will be Power.

30 Nov. 2022

To mark Lost Species Day, images of 39 recently extinct animals and their stories — from the aurochs to the ivory-billed woodpecker.

22 Nov. 2022

These costumes for dancing, born of an artistic philosophy of suffering, suggest a mongrel collision of characters.

22 Nov. 2022

When Paris’ infamous museum of anatomical pathology closed its doors in 2016, a controversial collection disappeared from view. Daisy Sainsbury explores the history of the Musée Dupuytren, and asks what an ethical future might look like for the human specimens it held.

17 Nov. 2022

Burlesquing the Augustan era’s fixation on classical tradition, Gay renders practical advice for walking around London into oftentimes absurd verse.

15 Nov. 2022

While Haeckel turns jellyfish into baroque spectacles of color and flowing form, Mayer’s medusae are more sober, their tentacles subdued, their umbellate bells transparent.

9 Nov. 2022

The recommended cut-off dates to order from our shop by to ensure delivery in time for Dec 25th.

9 Nov. 2022

For vast stretches of À la recherche du temps perdu, there is scarcely a page unadorned by vibrant colour. To commemorate the centenary of Marcel Proust’s death, Christopher Prendergast celebrates his use of pink, how its tone shifts from innocence to themes of sexual need, before finally fading out to grey at the novel’s close.

9 Nov. 2022

This celestial image has long stumped scholars: is it a lost Renaissance engraving or a nineteenth century pastiche?

SCAN TO VIEW AND BOOKMARK THIS PAGE ON YOUR PHONE
BACK TO TOP