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Magazine Art

Magazines shaped our lives, and the rest is history.

The great illustrators of the period 1850-1950 had a tremendous influence on us and the rest of the world. One of the most popular ways they presented their work was as the cover art for the mass and specialist magazines that were published under thousands of titles and in millions and millions of copies. We know today of Norman Rockwell and Maxfield Parrish, but there were hundreds and thousands of other artists whose work is now forgotten except by collectors and specialists. Some have been honored by art books about their work, but most are now simply unknown to the general public.

One reason for this undeserved obscurity is that their work is quite difficult to find. Bound volumes of these magazines, both in libraries and in the hands of private collectors, usually do not include the covers, for reasons we today find hard to imagine. You must look for individual copies of these magazines, sold as collector's items and available in variable condition. Old magazines turn up regularly on eBay and in shops, but they are expensive, and it is difficult to find, analyze, and store them in one's home. Hence MagazineArt.org.

We scan and photograph magazine covers from this era: as many as we can find, of whatever subject matter. The only requirement is that the issue must -have- a cover design. We prefer the ones that change from issue to issue, but we'll record them even if they simply list the contents of the magazine. We've had images donated, and we've picked them up where we can. At this time we have thousands of them, many of them suitable for display but all requiring some processing in Photoshop before they are presentable.

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Title
Date Archived
Creator
Magazine Art: Advertising Art in Magazines
collection
2,851
ITEMS
63,125
VIEWS
collection
eye 63,125
Famous artists, when they weren't painting the covers for the magazines, paid their bills by doing art for advertisers. Some of the things they did can stand up with the best of their covers, and much of it is fascinating today for what it tells us about life and popular culture of the past. This is a small door that opens up into a very large cathedral of art.
Topic: magazine
Magazine Art: Adventure magazine
collection
293
ITEMS
6,357
VIEWS
collection
eye 6,357
Begun in 1910 as a way for publisher Ridgway to tap into a new market, it specialized in stories of danger and thrills. At this time other pulp and popular magazines contained a wide variety of stories ranging from danger to romance (even when these are not the same thing). Its creation was a logical response to the success of pulps like ARGOSY, which by 1910 were selling hundreds of thousands of copies of each issue; but the focus on adventure was something new. It survived, in one form or...
Topic: magazine
Magazine Art: Art & Design
collection
20
ITEMS
1,797
VIEWS
collection
eye 1,797
This archive is about art in vintage magazines, but there weren't actually that many vintage magazines about art and design. Even if you throw Antiques into the pot, the number is small. Don't worry; it may be small, but what's here will be of great interest.
Topics: magazine art, design, art