Yet another fin de siècle journal which we can now see in its entirety, The Dial was a short-lived British publication which expired at a time when more prominent titles were being launched. The publishers were Charles Ricketts and Charles Shannon, a couple who were partners in life as well as art and publishing, and members of Oscar Wilde’s small circle of circumspect gay and lesbian friends. Ricketts and Shannon published some of Wilde’s poetry—notably a beautiful edition of The Sphinx—and followed the William Morris ideal of using traditional techniques for art and printing rather than relying on the line block. Most of the illustrations in The Dial are woodcuts although Ricketts and Shannon also produced etchings and the occasional painting, as with Ricketts’ Moreau-like piece below. Many of the Dial pieces have been reprinted in books about the pair but these never show you everything so the journals contain a number of smaller works I hadn’t seen before. The Dial ran for five issues from 1889 to 1897. The Internet Archive has a couple of sets of which these are the better copies:
Love is a Martyrdom (1965) by Stephanie Godwin. See Joscelyn Godwin’s Flickr pages for more.
• David Shire’s synthesizer score for Apocalypse Now was the first music recorded for the film but was abandoned when Shire was fired due to other commitments. 39 years later, his score has been released by La-La Land Records.
• Moon Safari by “French band” Air was released in the UK on January 16th, 1998. Jeremy Allen looks back at an album that was more successful here than elsewhere.
• On the occasion of the US publication of Iain Sinclair’s The Last London, Geoff Nicholson presents an A to Z of the author and his works.
This is the story of how two artists fell in love with each other, with Kelmscott Manor, and with William Morris, the poet, craftsman, and socialist who had made it his home. As Kelmscott’s first tenants afer the Morris family, Edward and Stephani Scott-Snell rented the historic Oxfordshire house throughout the Second World War. There they created an aesthetic and erotic paradise based on a fantasy land called ‘Thessyros’, and produced a body of figurative painting unique for its time. Much of this was done under the influence of a legally-obtained drug they called ‘Starlight’, making many of their paintings early examples of psychedelic art.
The Starlight Years is a book by Joscelyn Godwin about his artist-parents and their strange relationship
• At The Smart Set: Marian Calabro pays a visit to the Brussels apartment where René and Georgette Magritte lived from 1930 to 1954.
• At the Internet Archive: QZAP, the Queer Zine Archive Project; 551 downloadable publications from 1974 to 2015.
• At Dennis Cooper’s: Briefly recounting Tim Buckley‘s short, inconvenient stylistic trajectory.
• Musician and bookseller Richard Bishop recommends a handful of rare occult volumes.
• At Kickstarter: Arsgang, a short psychological horror film by Harry Edmundson-Cornell.
• “A Sloppy Machine, Like Me”: Michael Grasso on the history of video synthesizers.
• At Flashbak: 27 Snapshots of Manchester in the 1960s.
• At Strange Flowers: 18 books for 2018.
Not the first time Walter Crane has been featured here but this slim volume (62 pages) is a useful overview of the artist’s work which covers all aspects of his career: fine art, book illustration, political design (Crane was a lifelong Socialist), textiles for William Morris, and interior design. There’s more Walter Crane at Wikimedia Commons.
The world isn’t exactly starved of books about William Morris but William Morris and His Work (1899) is the first I’ve seen that gives an opportunity to study the creation of some of the Morris company’s florid textile designs. Those that follow obvious repeating patterns (like the bird designs below) don’t appear technically challenging but I’ve wondered a few times about the difficulties of creating some of the very elaborate interlacings of foliage that became the Morris hallmark. Lewis Foreman Day wrote a number of books on the history of ornament and design so he’s an ideal guide. Browse his book here or download it here.
The Charles Perrault fairy tale given an Arts and Crafts interpretation by British artist Joseph Southall (1861–1944). This is a slim volume from 1895 with illustrations very much in the manner of Walter Crane’s work for William Morris. As with all such stories from the Victorian era, the grim nature of the tale is buried under a profusion of ornament and painstaking detail. Browse the rest of the book here or download it here.