S.M. Prokudin-Gorskii

The Library of Congress site for this collection states that the S.M. Prokudin-Gorskii photographs are probably in the public domain. They were taken before 1923 and bought by the Library from Gorskii’s heirs in France in the 1940s. But no clear policy about their copyright was addressed at that time. The LOC suggested contacting the grandson in France. I did. He kindly granted me permission to use the images on my cards (though he preferred not on coffee mugs). 

S.M. Prokudin-Gorskii: 

The Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection features color photographic surveys of the vast Russian Empire made between ca. 1905 and 1915. Frequent subjects among the 2,607 distinct images include people, religious architecture, historic sites, industry and agriculture, public works construction, scenes along water and railway transportation routes, and views of villages and cities. An active photographer and scientist, Prokudin-Gorskii (1863-1944) undertook most of his ambitious color documentary project from 1909 to 1915. The Library of Congress purchased the collection from the photographer’s sons in 1948.”


The Rocky Mountain News

I grew up in Denver in the early 50s and remember The Rocky Mountain News by its unique shape. It was a tabloid ~ short and opened like a book. I ran across old copies at my friend’s shop in Saguache, CO (Antiques, Etc). I scanned in the covers and created the cards.

The Rocky Mountain News:  “a newspaper that was a Denver institution for just short of 150 years, was Colorado’s oldest newspaper and possibly the longest running business in the state. Born during the 1859 Colorado Gold Rush, the paper went through many ups and downs, until it finally closed its doors in 2009, just two months shy of its 150th anniversary. For that century and a half, the Rocky Mountain News was to many Coloradans, the standard…”

Source: https://history.denverlibrary.org/rocky-mountain-news-denver-public-library

Images used for cards: 1906-1909
Illustrators: Wireman, Kimball, JES, McFall, Flagg, Beard.


Le Théatre

I have 5 leather-bound collections (1910-1913) of issues of the French publication, Le Théatre. The books have several fine color plates, as well as discussion about the French theater scene. The publication is in French, which I don’t speak, so I focused on the plates. I scanned in my favorites for the postcards. Holding the books was a treat in itself. They’re quite large and full of flavor. The presence of the actors is clear in the excellent photographs.

I found an online article at Villanova University’s Falvey Memorial Library discussing the publication. Other than that, I haven’t been able to find much. I did find the quote below from the London Royal Academy of Music’s website, but that link no longer works: 

“…a French magazine comprising articles, portraiture, and scenography related to the French theater. The publication included information on opera productions, composers and performers, as well as general theater history. The magazine was published monthly, in French, from 1898 to 1914 by Manzi, Joyant, and Co., in Paris.” 

Le Théatre photographers: Waléry, Felix, Talbot, Bert, Chéri-Rousseau d’ Glauth, Dover Street Studios (London), Ruetlinger, Boissannas & Taponier, Vizzavona, Gerschel, Larcher, and Enrietti. 


The Masses and The Liberator


The covers, as well as the history, of The Masses can be found at NYU’s Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives. The cover designs are compelling. I had no idea the publication even existed. The Liberator, the successor to The Masses can be found at Marxist.org. It was that site’s curator, Tim Davenport, who led me from one magazine to the other. 

In the United States, during WWI, the passage of the Espionage Act in 1917 and the Sedition Act in 1918 made speaking out against the war illegal. “These acts were part of the ‘Red Scare,’ a domestic battle against antiwar and anticapitalist activism…” Socialist publications like The Masses were banned. The magazine was “founded in 1911, and silenced in 1917 after government harrassment…During its run, however, The Masses was a vital publication, a clearinghouse of radical art and politics, one that painted a picture of the spirit of dissent… 

”The artists donated their time and energy, and the magazine honored both their politics and their art. The layout of the art was exceptional, as was the printing quality and the space afforded to the images. Most important, the magazine belonged to the artists. Decisions, including which images and articles were to be included, were voted upon, although the editor’s opinions carried more weight…. 

“The U.S. Postal Service, fulfilling the Red Scare tactics of the federal government, ended The Masses… by denying them access to the mails… In 1918, The Masses resurrected itself as The Liberator, and continued until 1924, but The Liberator’s content and approach differed greatly… The Liberator included art, but the overall content of the magazine showed blind support for the Bolshevik Revolution… Gone was The Masses that had reached a middle ground - open to both activism and bohemian culture–one whose credo in 1913 boldly stated: ‘A magazine directed against rigidity and dogma, wherever it was found.’ Those days ended with the First Red Scare, the Russian Revolution, and World War I.” 

Source: “A People’s History of the United States,” by Nicolas Lampert

Please note that though The Liberator continued to publish after 1924, the group never filed for copyright, thus, the cover images are in the public domain. (information from Tim Davenport, Marxist.org)

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